Saturday, 7 March 2015

"Universal" appeal!

I kept seeing lovely kaleidoscopic pictures of crochet, while noodling around the internet and discovered they were representations of a 'mystery' CAL (Crochet-a-long) designed by Dedri Uys and called "Sophie's Universe". The 'mystery' aspect refers to the fact that no-one knows what the final item will look like, as each new part is released weekly!

Well, that piqued my interest, so I grabbed my stash and set-to hooking; I must say it has been quite an experience learning new stitches and techniques! I'd always been a fairly conservative crocheter, just using the basic chains, double/treble crochet and slip stitches but before long I was doing FPDCs and BLOs. to say nothing of the odd FPDTR! (Front Post Double Crochet, Back Loop Only, Front Post Double Treble - and if that sounds like double-dutch I also had to remember these were US terms and slightly different from the UK ones I'm more used to!)

......anyway - I started a couple of weeks ago, late to the 'party' (which began on 18th Jan and will finish 31st May) and I'm still playing catch-up. I've just finished Part 5 (rounds 1-45, there are another 67 to go...)   Although there are suggested yarn weights/types/colours I'm just using DK stash yarn - and if I survive the experience I may do another one with more specific colour choices!

So, here's a little montage of 'progress' pictures:


Sophie's Universe is expanding.... so far she measures 29" (73.5cm) but the finished size will be somewhere near 6ft (180cm0 square!

If you want to join in, use the link at the beginning of this post - this thing has gone global, always room for more!

(check out the F@ceb00k community pageF@ceb00k community page, too!)

Monday, 5 January 2015

New Year, new project! (...or three!)

Now that Christmas has been and gone and all the decorations are safely packed away until December I can at last turn my attention to some new projects that have had to sit on a back-burner (ok, filed away in the dark recesses of my brain!) while I got on with my pre-Christmas sock-knitting marathon - see my previous post.

Following on from the 'c2c' green and white blanket I'm indulging my fascination of patchwork quilts - but in yarn rather than fabric.

I started with a few colours (l-r) Sherbert, Turquoise, Claret, Teal and Midnight (all Stylecraft 'Special' DK)

Red might seem an odd colour to throw in the mix, but I wanted to do a variation of 'log cabin' patchwork. Traditionally, that starts with 'red' in the centre, representing the fire or hearth of the home, around which the strips or 'logs' of the cabin are arranged:

In this pattern, I have lighter colours one side (representing day) and darker ones the other side, ('night')

When I ordered the colours (online) it was hard to get a true idea - I think the 'Midnight'/dark blue colours is a little too much but it's growing on me.

Next comes the fun of 'playing' around with putting the blocks together!

I think I like this pattern ('fields and furrows') :

It creates the illusion of diagonal stripes (still not sure about that dark blue....)

Mind you, I'm only on my seventh block so it may all come together ok eventually, especially with a dark blue border, perhaps. I'll post progress, as and when - I'll need to order more wool, so it's just as well that as part of my Christmas present my son gave me a shopping voucher for Wool Warehouse!


Along the same lines, I picked up another project that had been abandoned in favour of the 'sock-marathon'. Similar in principle to the 'ten stitch blanket' but picking up stitches all along each new side and knitting out a few rows, I created this:

I'm using this yarn I picked up at a craft show last year: 
554-02 Wholesale

It makes for mindless knitting in front of the TV, as it's random-dyed yarn so no new colours to join in, just knit each block, cast off all but last stitch, turn 90deg and pick up stitches along the next side and away you go again. (Casting off loosely makes for easier picking-up!)

This piece is progressively looking like a piece of wood-block flooring, thanks to the yarn colour.


Living up to my Facebook icon......

......I went to Coventry with DD so she could buy some wool from our
favourite/nearest REAL yarnshop and I was just going to have
a look....honestly.....until this 'fell' into my basket!

The 'James Brett Marble' will probably become a cowl, the Robin 'Paintbox' is for a baby cardigan but the rest is all for another 'log-cabin'-inspired piece,,,,,,watch this space!

Monday, 22 December 2014

Not quite 'the night before Christmas' - but it's a close-run thing!

Never mind '....the stockings were hung by the chimney with care',  how about: the socks were all pegged up  - and not just ONE pair!

Phew!  Just about done in time for Christmas, six (yes SIX!!) pairs of socks! That'll teach me to offer to make them at short notice!

I started on 25th November and finished the final pair on 20th December - and I think I shall have a wee break from sock knitting for a while! (although I do need to make a pair for a January birthday present.....)

After knitting in 4ply sock yarn for so long, using DK yarn feels like knitting with rope!! ;-)

Still, back to some of my other projects-in-waiting......a blanket, an experiment with knitting  'log-cabin patchwork'-style,.....and delving into my stash....bliss!

Happy Christmas, everyone - I wonder what projects YOU have in mind for 2015???

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 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!!)