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Crotchet Inspiration

10 Feb

I have been teaching my friend to Crotchet. We started in December with some snowflakes and have been contemplating our next project. I think a beginner/improver project needs to be inspiring, modular and pretty. Being ‘easy’ is probably less important.  This post is for Amalia and anyone else looking for some hooky-inspiration.

I have been inspired by this beautiful window dressing by Sandra who blogs at Cherry Heart
Raining

She calls it ‘falling rain’ but they are actually pretty little hearts.  This got me thinking; hearts are not really my style, but I love the teeny-ness of them and all the colours; they would be easy to make up and there is no reason you couldn’t replace the hearts with anything teeny-tiny and colourful!

Like these Stars, Flowers or these Flowers all from Lucy at Attic 24

attic 24 starsattic 24 flowersattic 24 flowers 2

Once I had started trawling pinterest and the rest of the web for ideas I got quite excited!  There are SO many pretty, colourful things you can crotchet out there,  the pinterest boards are Positively Pornographic.

Butterflies, Birdies and Bumblebees

papillons-coloresDSC02945fuzzy little friends

Not to mention Strawberries, Suns and Shamrocks:

JORDBR~1Sun Motif Crochet Pattern picCrochetShamrock6

I had also thought of bunting, a bit like this:

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Then I realised the Horizontal Plane opened up the Project Idea for all sorts of Chained, fabulous things:

Again with the Flowers, Flowers, Flowers:

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Stars and of course… Sheep!

IMAG0943amigurumi-timmy-sheep

All (except, perhaps, Sheep) could be joined to each other or a chain in a bunting-type, decorative affair.  The possibilities are endless! For more inspiration please see my Pinterest board.

For now, I’m off to make This

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Into This:

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Hmmmm…

(P.S. I have tried to link the source of all images to the sites they came from; clicking the word describing each photo should take you through to the source-site.  If there are any problems please let me know!)

Happy Hooking!

 

Resolutions Week 2?

19 Jan

So we are two weeks in and I have already missed the setting of a set of resolutions (last weekend).  I thought about setting several:

  • Book a haircut (and start getting it done regularly!)
  • Buy a ball gown (graduation ball is next thursday!)
  • Go to Karate again on Monday

I wanted a more meaningful resolution,  I considered trying to do a random act of kindness for someone each day but the week has gone so fast I’ve not had the chance to put anything into action or sit and blog about my plan. I didn’t manage to do my cleaning during the week but I did manage to go to Karate, speak to a friend on the phone, have a friend round for dinner and clean the bathroom.  Fortunately Dan took a day off this week and cleaned the rest of the house!

Work has been somewhat turbulent; I have ended up staying late and on thursday I came home completely overwhelmed with thoughts and feelings about my clients.  Again, Dan came to the rescue and helped me re-ground myself and re-package my clients back up into appropriate boxes in my mind!

I have been managing to spend an hour in front of the telly each evening, and frankly, I’ve been so tired, I’ve pretty much fallen asleep there most evening.  While sitting in front of the telly I’ve been engaging in some wool organising in preparation for my next project:

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This is the first time I’ve had really posh wool.  It’ was hideously expensive and I started the above project not realising that I really should have wound the Skeins of wool into balls.  As a result the lovely yarn had become tangled and enmeshed in its bag.  It was a right mess!

Winding up the balls has been a bit like organising my clients in my head, it has required de-tangling with care and attention.  The end result feels good.  If only everything in life could be wound up into a neat ball where it would stay  eh?

Speaking on the phone to a friend this week we discussed my issue of feeling as if I have no time for myself.  She is a mother of two small children so she did incredibly well to be sympathetic towards me! We agreed that I did have time but that I am filling it.  This is my choice,  but I’m not sure it’s a functional one!  I explained that I feel as if I need to do a lot in order to feel I have made use of my time.  The weekends feel short and sure, I do have house-holdy tasks to do but I fill the gaps with things I think I need to achieve in order to prepare for the week ahead and in order to feel as if I have had some ‘me’ time.  She suggested that I might feel as if I had more time if I spent time doing nothing.  I had to ask her what doing nothing is.   She defined it as watching something on telly, eating snacks and doing nothing else.  We agreed it would be a useful experiment for me to try.

So, call it a resolution if you like, Dan has gone out for the evening, the puppies have been walked, Its 3:30pm on Saturday.  I am going to sit and do nothing until at least 6pm.

Resolution Review 1

12 Jan

As promised, this post is an update on the goals I set myself for the past week.

1. Attend 1 Karate Lesson

Achieved!

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After a little venue confusion I arrived late but was still welcomed by the class and Sensei. I was pleased to see there were other adults in the class and the Sensei was friendly. I realised that I have not attended a class for over a year and am somewhat out of shape! The lesson was 1.5 hours long and we were expected to hold the ‘long forward stance’ for most of it, not moving until told to and sometimes waiting while the sensei adjusted someone’s positioning. As a result of staying in this slightly squat-like position my legs started shaking. For the last half hour of the session I couldn’t stop them going, the sensei was concerned but also found it entertaining! My muscles were so fatigued I could barely stand by the end of the session!

Despite the pain I really enjoyed the session. I have realised how much I need to exercise and will make it my goal to keep going to the same class each week.

2. Stop Moaning

I didn’t feel the urge to moan until Wednesday when I really did!  I quickly realised that ‘not moaning’ only really works if you can manage to not feel like moaning.  I didn’t moan, but I was in a foul mood and I don’t really think this was much better for me or anyone else than actually verbalising.  I was quite angry.  It wasn’t until Thursday when I spoke to a friend and said I had been angry that I felt better.  She asked what had made me feel angry and I said I couldn’t say because that would be moaning.  She said that it only counted as moaning if it was unsolicited and that if I were to tell her after she had asked it would just be ‘providing information’.  Needless to say, I felt a lot better after I had ‘provided information’.  So, while I would like to be less negative, and maybe not just moan for the sake of it, I don’t think a total ban on moaning is the way forwards!  I will ditch that resolution here and now!

3. Be Early for Work

While I didn’t document this as a goal for the week I was cross that I had not managed to make my first few days back at work (the previous week) on time.  I resolved to be early this week.  This means I need to be in bed by 10pm and get up at 5:45am.  I totally managed it!

The week in review..

Going to Karate on monday night really gave me an energy boost for the whole week.  Although my body only really recovered on friday it made me feel much more energised and positive about my ability to be the person I want to be.  I felt much more in control of myself and was able to be more productive at work.  I had been feeling a little like I hadn’t really put my full effort into my new job so far but was able to be enthusiastic and take on additional responsibilities this week.  This made me feel like I might be able to push forward and make a positive difference to my team and our clients.

Also, I finally sent that blanket to its rightful owner!  That’s a project, finished and in its place:

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I was lucky enough to receive this photo of its beautiful recipient making good use of it!  This really made my week!

Day 4 of 5

8 Nov

Dan and I are going away tomorrow for two nights in Canterbury. It’s the first time we have had a break together for a long time. I spent the day preparing the puppies for their own holiday and we drove them to Dan’s mum’s house. As a result we spent several hours in the car and managed to argue about plans for the garden and a dishwasher. I didn’t get any time to myself but it was lovely to see Dan’s mum and stepdad. Dan’s mum is into all things crafty and we had time to sit and discuss projects. She had managed to find some intricate antique handmade lace collars at an auction for use in future projects. She had also found me this:

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Fabulous fat twine! She knew I had been looking for some to make bags with and this stuff is perfect! I think it might also be door-mat-worthy! </
When we arrived home (minus puppies) my friend was here. She wanted to know about my crotchet projects! So, while I may not have actually done any crotchet I did actually open the box up and mayhave found myself a crotchet buddy!

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We are off to Canterbury tomorrow morning and the puppies have already gone on their holiday. It feels strange without them, I already miss their furry faces and worry about the trouble they might be getting into. I have no idea how we would manage a week, or even two without them!

Unfinished Adventures in Crochetland

1 Apr

Good evening and welcome.

I wanted to take this opportunity to document all the projects I hope to complete once my thesis is out-of-the-way.  However, in taking photos ready for this post, I have realised there are far more unfinished projects than I imagined…

It turns out I am REALLY GOOD at planning and starting things….but finishing…meh!

(I wonder if this explains, to some extent, why the thesis is SO hard)

Any way,  I am aware this could turn into an exercise in self-criticism so I will try to keep it sweet, perhaps by starting with something I actually finished!?

Augustus

Here he is:

Augustus, the Italian Greyhound with thanks to a pattern I found here.  Augustus was my therapy project after Annie died. I wanted to give him to a friend with a similar looking dog for her birthday…so he was a Time Limited Project.  He was also the only thing I made myself do after Annie, I wasn’t up to much but knew I should do something.

Augustus is what I did and I loved him so much I almost didn’t give him up!  coincidentally- he does look somewhat like Odin don’t you think!?

The Beach Bag

Another technically finished project, just not particularly sucessful.

I used the attic24 flat circle as a base and then stopped increasing stitches when I thought it was big enough.  I wanted it BIG…

Well… I got greedy

It was HUGE

Furthermore,  I didn’t line it- so as soon as you put anything in it, it just drags on the ground.

Not a total failure but at best unfinished, pending lining!

So here are the real shame-inducing finds from my project box…

That Japanese Flower Scarf…

Oh I fell in love with this pattern BIG TIME and convinced D to buy me the yarn for my last birthday (almost a year ago). I want to finish this baby but I think it needs my full attention, that wool is pretty special and I REALLY don’t want to mess it up

…SO this is as far as we have come.

  Oh Yeah… THREE FLOWERS

A related project involved the same pattern but with cheap acrylic yarn.  I did better with this, perhaps because it didn’t matter if I messed up; it was ‘just an experiment’.  This one has been much more fun, although I’m not sure what it will be when finished..

(I have bizarre ideas about using it as a curtain (yeah I know…. they don’t make curtains out of wool…and there is probably a really good reason for that)).

Still, I think I may actually finish these two.. I Really Want to get back to making them ASAP!

Twine Bags

After my bag failure (see above), determined not to sew I thought I would try crocheting bags out of tougher stuff.  I looked in various garden shops for coloured twine without much joy.  Then, randomly, on holiday in devon (last September) found this stuff in a little gift shop:

I think it will make lovely bags…if only I can get it on my hook!

Ahh time will tell!

Chunky-Knit-Bo-Ho-Scarves

Having not made the twine bags I had intended to, last December I went out and bought wool to make christmas-present-scarves with.  I even learned to knit! (a teeny bit!).

Sadly, despite buying enough wool for four scarves, just one, lonely scarf got made.  It went to a very good home and, on a positive note means I have next xmas sorted (ha).

My final confession is this one:

The Baby Blanket

My Friend told me she was pregnant with her second child in December 2010.   I started to make her (at that point gender unknown) baby a flower blanket using a pattern D’s mum uses regularly with fantastic results.  I used blues, pinks and yellows, thinking it would be gender neutral.  I think the trouble was that I never really liked the colour combinations enough. As a result I’m not convinced it would ever be good enough to give to someone!  My friend had a beautiful baby girl in the end and I wish I had just made a proper girly one…maybe I still will.  However, as D keeps pointing out, the longer I leave it, the bigger the blanket will need to be…hmm… maybe she would like a flower scarf?

    Oh the shame!

On a slightly removed note, I have been writing this while keeping the pups entertained with chewy toys.  This does require fairly regular breaking up of fights over whose chew is whose but on the whole makes for a peaceful evening.  I observed these pups ‘being in the moment’ with their chews, happy and not worrying about what they should have done, should be doing or will do in the future.

It occurred to me that while they were chewing their new chews they also have a big box of ‘unfinished’ chewing projects.

I couldn’t help myself.  I had to point this out to them, happy in their little chewy world.

Did it cause them anxiety, guilt, frustration, longing or despair?

No

They took what they liked best from the pile and chewed it.

And

They didn’t even argue.