Thursday, 6 November 2014

Turning a design on it's head - part deux!!


 

A few months ago I posted about a new crochet technique I'd come across called 'c2c' or 'corner to corner' (here)

In a fit of clearing the decks of 'WIPs' prior to a visit to the craft show in Birmingham (more on that in a forthcoming post!) I pulled the completed squares out of a bag and began sewing them together!

Thus, this....


...became this....

            

...and soon 'morphed' into this....


......and with a little more 'embellishment' it finally became this....



(apologies for colour quality - using phone cam under electric light :-/)

Sewing the squares together was tedious, matching the white and green wool on each seam - if I do this again I will try to find a more satisfactory/simpler way!

It was just an experiment to find different ways to use the squares - not really keen on the colours though (reminds me of broccoli and cauliflower!) However, it didn't turn out too bad! (even if it ends up as a car blanket! ;-p)


Sunday, 28 September 2014

B.O.Y - just what I needed!


A good few months ago I had a message on Ravelry from a local knitting group inviting me to join them. I had every intention of following it up - but then 'life' got in the way, as it so often does.

However, I got a 'second chance' when our local newspaper did a feature on the group, celebrating their first anniversary and I thought "I'll have some of that, please!" So, DD and I plucked up courage and went to join Ball Of Yarn - and what a warm welcome we got! :-)

It is SO nice to meet up with other knitters and crocheters (sounds better than 'hookers'!) all doing such a variety of different things with yarn! Great to be able to learn and share from each other, too!

Currently there's been a drive (for those who want to, it's not mandatory) to produce cot and incubator blankets and hats for a local SCBU (Special Care Baby Unit) - a project dear to my heart as DD was a wee 'premmie' herself, all those years ago!

Well, the request was for 'colourful' items so I took them at their word....do you think this is colourful enough? ;-p


A cot blanket, waiting for ends to be sewn in:

....and hats...


Meanwhile, back to B.O.Y - I'm enjoying getting to know a few of the members of the group and I'll try to snap off some pics of them at 'work'.....what DO you call a collection of knitters, I wonder?

Friday, 26 September 2014

All 'dolled-up'



Recently, I laid down my yarn, crochet hooks and knitting needles and picked up my dressmaking shears for another 'unexpected' project!

A friend who volunteers at a local home for the elderly had asked my help on behalf of one of the residents, who had made a doll but was now unable to make any clothes for it. I say 'it', but of course this doll has a character all of her own and her name is Matilda!

The lady who owned her had made her from scratch, with jointed limbs....

...and an amazing Victorian-style hairdo!

.....but she needed some clothes to preserve her modesty!

My friend supplied a pattern and material and one Saturday morning a couple
of weeks ago I set to work with my shears and sewing machine.

So, she soon acquired a petticoat:

....and a blouse:

Then came a new over-dress:


(I had forgotten how fiddly 'rik-rak' braid is to sew on - I'm glad it was just for a 21" doll and not a full-sized garment!)

However, Matilda was barefoot and I couldn't have that!
So a bit of fiddling about with some brown felt produced these:
 (They were as near to Victorian-style boots as I could manage!)


Now Matilda sits in splendour, admired by residents and staff alike; her maker was
absolutely thrilled to see her new clothes.

It took me a couple of long days to complete
(good job hubby was away, so I could just work right though!)
but hearing of the elderly lady's pleasure at seeing Matilda restored to glory
is more than sufficient reward!
:-)




Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Turning a design on it's head.....!


In my last post I was waxing lyrical about the 'c2c' crochet technique I've recently discovered. Well, I got to thinking about how to progress from just doing the large squares and rectangles I've seen it used for so far. So - I decided to play around with the concept and have fun....! ;-)


One little square, with various stripes:

Doesn't look all that much, right?


.....but try adding a few more:


...or shuffle them around ....and add another couple....

....see where I'm going with this....?

It's like a combination of crochet squares and patchwork and now there are all sorts of possibilities rattling around in my head.......!

I'll get back to you with some other combinations!

(oh, I do love a NEW project!!)

Monday, 25 August 2014

New tricks!



I haven't died - just been too busy 'doing' to have time to blog about it! I've been having adventures in yarn...... here's some of what I've been up to:

I discovered that the Drops 'Cotton Light' I talked about in my last post (months ago......!) has proved to be a right royal pain to crochet with, because it's very splitty and I kept catching the hook in it which slowed progress :-/  However, it is rather nice to knit with! One of my quartet of recently-finished cushions was crochet one side and knit on the other side:
 

....and here's the full quartet:


This diagonal striping is commonly called 'c2c' (corner to corner) - here's  a link to a fab tutorial if you haven't come across this!  It is fast becoming a favourite - two cushions and a part-finished baby blanket already testify to my growing obsession with this technique and I'm starting to tinker around with the design for my next project.......wait for my next post!! :-)

Of course, all this crochet takes it's toll - my right hand was exhibiting some pressure damage and I was getting pins and needles from where my steel hook was pressing into my palm and causing nerve problems. 
But then I discovered the sooper-dooper hooks pictured at the top of this blog - and hubby treated me to a set for our 34th wedding anniversary a few days ago! These Knit-Pro 'Waves' hooks are just SO comfortable to use......I may never go back to ordinary ones again!

Any way - back to to the hooking........!

(....erm.....you know what I mean ;-p)

Friday, 27 June 2014

Too busy 'yarning' to blog...




I realise it's a while since I last blogged here - life's events and excitements get in the way from time to time. However, there aren't many free moments when I HAVEN'T had some yarn in my hands, lately (even if that's just moving stash piles to other boxes.....)

Best of all, I decided to put in an order to The Wool Warehouse (yes, I know I already have SEVERAL large crates of the stuff up in my workroom.....but one can never have too much!) and it arrived this morning! (not bad, since I ordered it after-hours on Wednesday evening)  I'm SO impressed - quick service and VERY attractive prices, too! I don't normally like ordering yarn without seeing it, but I can happily say the Wool Warehouse is now my online shop of choice! :-)

Just looking at it all is making me lick my lips in anticipation :-)


I've also been experimenting a lot more with crochet, which is becoming ever more addictive.

I'd heard about the 'African Flower' motif and decided to have a go. (There's a great tutorial here )  Well, I was very soon hooked (excuse the pun!) and now I'm happily creating blocks (....a cushion cover?  .....a blanket? ....who knows!)

....and you all know how I HATE seaming things together, so I've taught myself to 'join-as-I-go' (I sort of made it up, don't think it's a 'proper' method, but it works for me) - on the final round, I hook the yarn through a trb on a finished side and then trb on the new square, like this:


Here's a finished seam:

I'm really loving using cotton and cotton-mix yarns, too. I recently made a loose cover for a footstool:
We've just inherited the footstool, which has an embroidered cover created by hubby's Grandmother many years ago:
It's beautiful, but to preserve the colours it had spent a lot of it's life with a cloth over it. Being re-housed in our conservatory we didn't want to risk the sun bleaching the colours, so a loose cover was the order of the day.

Now....back to the newly-arrived stash......where's that crochet hook......?  :-)

Sunday, 18 May 2014

Almost 'un'seamly......!




Any regular reader of this blog will know I try to avoid seams in knitting where possible - so I was intrigued when I was handed a pattern for a baby jacket that is knit all in one piece!

I quickly got to work and followed the pattern religiously, all the while secretly thinking it couldn't be that easy (could it...?) and wondering what I'd end up with.

Well, what I ended up with was this:


Hmmmm......?

I sat and 'played' around with it, turning it first this way and then that  -  the pattern 'helpfully' just said fold it into shape....?! :-/

Hmmmm.......?

Then I turned it upside down:

Realising the button holes (can you see them on BOTH sides?) must need to run up the centre front, I folded one side to the middle:


....aha, I think I see where we're going with this....

...and the other side to match!

All that's left is to sew the top of the sleeves - just two small seams!
(even I can cope with that! ;-p)

The other nifty thing is working two sets of button holes - you can decide which gender you're knitting for at the last minute - and the 'unused' buttonholes are the ideal indicators of where to sew the buttons for a perfect match!

This is dangerously easy.....I could be making more! ;-)