30 June 2015

Mandalas for Wink

Hi guys, I am still shocked by the tragic news of Wink's passing. Hers was the first crochet blog I discovered and the inspiration she has been to me is invaluable. Depression is truly an awful, awful illness that robs you of your inner light and joy. I hope she has now found the peace she was desperately looking for and my heart goes to the loved ones she's left behind. The best way to remember her is probably to go through her blog and revel in all the colourful posts she wrote there. You can also leave a message on the online memorial her family have set up for her.

I'll share with you the mandalas I made from her beautiful patterns. I will now treasure them even more. Rest in peace, Wink, you will be missed.

24 June 2015

South Bay Shawlette - I've Succumbed!

Hello! I have been very fickle with my WIPs recently, fleeting from one half finished project to the next. So no surprise again this week for Jijihook's Granny Square Challenge, as I present to you another new WIP : my attempt at the South Bay Shawlette. This pretty shawl seems to be everywhere on the crochet scene at the moment and I knew it was only a question of time before I tackled it. I've decided to use some of my beautiful Icelandic yarn. And as I plan to use mainly one colour, I am going to have to order more...

Anyhoo... here's the progress so far:

I have a feeling this one will take me a while, as I want to make it rather big so that I can snuggle up in it this winter. Making it in the summer is not going to be the most practical though, as this yarn is really really warm!

I'll be back soon, hopefully with an update on an currently existing WIP rather than a new one. ;)

Take care!

18 June 2015

A Business Card Case

Hello everyone! Here's a little project I whipped up in one evening: a crochet business card case. Not the most practical, I admit, when you have to get the cards out, and also probably not suited to all lines of businesses, but let's say I was badly in need of a case and therefore decided to make one! Unfortunately, the business cards the case was intended for are not crochet-related - that would have been the perfect accessory - but the ones for my "serious" activity, which happens to be translation. I am pleased to say, however, that so far the case doesn't seem to have been too frowned upon...

Anyway, here goes:

The case was worked in rounds after two initial rows of UK dcs, made to measure. I used an oddment of a variegated DK yarn, Rico Design Creative Micro Print. For once, I didn't carry on amigurumi-style, as I find this always creates some asymmetry when it comes to the edge. So instead, I joined to the first stitch at the end of every round, using the invisible seam method, which gave me a nice, straight look and top edge. Oh, and all stitches are worked in the back loop only for the lined texture.

When I got level with the top of the cards, I switched back to rows and worked two rows of UK dcs and one row of slip stitches, with two loops made out of chain stitches as buttonholes. The buttons are leftovers from decorated White Stuff labels (that's a clothes chain here in the UK). I knew I'd be able to use those one day! They're such cute little things. I have a friend who uses them to make necklaces. Very pretty indeed.

And you can now behold the aforementioned business in their snug crochet habitat...

...and next to it ;)

A cute and easy project that could easily be adapted to make a mobile phone case or anything else rectangular, for that matter! Pattern coming soon :)

Thanks for reading, folks!

17 June 2015

A Green Granny Square Bag

Hello! I nearly forgot today was Granny Square day. How could I? As always, there's loads to see at Jijihook's for the occasion. And today, I'd like to share with you a rather spontaneous WIP that's suddenly come back in the spotlight after two years in limbo. You may (or may not, that's perfectly fine, don't worry!) remember this Christmas post six months ago. Well, it showed a few granny squares I'd made in my early crochet days before losing interest and moving on to something else. They were made using this variegated yarn (Rico Design Creative Micro Print)...

...the idea being to use the whole ball for granny squares. No wonder why I got bored!

This weekend, for some reason, I decided to take them off the wall (there were now 12 of them), and I made just one more granny square (not an easy feat, because obviously, I'd completely forgotten what hook size I'd used for the other ones...). And here they are, all 13 of them:

The interesting thing when you go back to a long standing WIP is that you can definitely notice how your style has evolved over time. In my case, two years ago, my tension was still quite erratic and the tail ends I left where irritatingly short!

So once the (too short) ends had been woven in, I laid out my squares following these instructions and after some pondering decided to join them with a variegated contrasting yarn, shown below (a remnant of Sirdar Smiley Stripes, which I used also for this project).

All that was left to do was to crochet them together. I found out that was easier said than done. I have very poor spatial representation and couldn't quite get to grips with how to join continuously past the fold lines. So I made do: 

And the last photo I took, the bag looked like this, the bottom ready to be folded over. 

I have made progress since then, so will be back very soon with an update.

Until then, take care and thanks for reading! :)

12 June 2015

A Hat Update

Hello! I thought I'd show you a sneak peek of my Summer Hat real quick...

The project is going rather well and is now very nearly complete. I have to say I am quite thrilled with how it looks so far. Choosing the various colour combinations has proven to be a delight, and I am also considering adorning it with a bit of colourful strong and beads. We shall see, as I find myself saying so often.

Anyway, I'll be back soon with more. Thanks for reading, folks!

10 June 2015

A Granny Square Shawl

Hello, lovely people! It's time for another granny-square-related post! Today, I'll share with you a project that's been neglected for a little while after I realised I'd missed a couple of stitches. Isn't it annoying when this happens? And of course, you only realise your mistake ten rows down the line, having to frog hours and hours of arduous work. Grrrrr!!!

Anyway, this particular project is a half granny square shawl, exactly like this one, which I blogged about last year. This new one is made with a variegated yarn I brought back from Finland earlier this year, and here's what it looks like:

And the yarn...

A gorgeous mix of colours, if you ask me!

The shawl is worked in alternated rows of trebles and dcs, with the aim to add a lacy border in due course, most likely in a matching plain colour. 

Here's a closer look at the stitches.

And that's it for this week. Don't forget the challenge at Jijihook's, and I'll see you next week :)

03 June 2015

A Granny Square Cushion Cover

Hello lovely people! Today being Wednesday - meaning it's Granny Square Day over at Jijihook's - I thought I'd show you my finished cushion cover, frantically put together one evening till well past midnight so that it would be ready in time for a friend's birthday. The pictures below were just as frantically taken the following morning before said cushion cover was wrapped up and presented to said birthday friend.

So here goes!

As you can see, the main side features sunburst granny squares, heavily inspired from my Blanket sunbursts, except for the third round being simple treble clusters (UK term.) rather than tr3togs. As with my Blanket, they are joined with decorative rows of dcs. More later about the edging.

On to the flip side:

So this is a classic granny square in the 8 colours of the main side, with two rounds per colour. Trying to avoid the 'skewed' effect that so often comes with bigger granny squares, I turned my work every other round, or every other two rounds, and it worked! My square remained more or less straight. This means unfortunately that some rounds are on the wrong side, but I think only an expert eye could notice this. What do you think?

Anyway, both panels were joined on three sides with a row of dcs, which was then topped with a row of 3-chain picots. 

I have to say I am really pleased with the resulting look. For some reason, I always find picots a little daunting, but these ones let themselves be tamed rather nicely. I think they add a bit of a dainty look to the whole thing.

To finish, I hand-sewed a zip (botching it a little bit, I confess, as it was getting way too late), so that the cover can be taken off and washed if necessary. Fortunately, the 'botching' is only visible on the inside of the zip. Phew!

And that's it for this project. Since I decided I was doing it very much at the last minute, it was quite intense, I'm telling you. But it's amazing how deadlines can work wonders on your motivation. I'm pretty sure that, had I chosen to make the same cushion cover for myself, it would have taken months to complete... :D

Thanks for reading, everyone, and see you soon!

01 June 2015

A Summer Project

Helloooo! How is everyone? I am rather excited these days as my crochet mojo seems to be coming back after a few months at 'bare essentials' levels. So the other day I sorted through my crochet magazines and came across this beauty by Anne Egan:

This lovely summer hat has been on my crochet to-do list for the past couple of years. The only reason I have never got round to making it was that I thought I didn't have enough yarn, as in not enough white yarn. And then the other night, it hit me. Why on earth do I have to make the crown white and the brim striped? Can't I do the whole thing in colour? So I hit Pinterest. And among other things, I found this. I was instantly smitten, though I will not be making anything this long (I'm so short it would almost fall around my feet!) Anyway, I feverishly jumped onto my cotton stash to look for similar/inspiring colours, and after some pondering and narrowing down, this is what I came up with:

Aren't they simply gorgeous? When I look at them, I think of lazy summer days spent at the beach, gazing at umbrellas and guzzling down ice lollies. Aaaah, bliss...

So off I went, and this is where I'm at:

Well, truth be told, I am now much further ahead, so let's say the above pic was where I was at the last time I took a photo ;o)

I have had to adapt the pattern quite a bit, since the yarn I am using is not the same as the one recommended in the magazine (it's not even the same one from one colour to the other!), so it's been a bit of trial and error so far, with much doing, frogging and redoing along the way. But it's so much fun to play with the colour sequences that I don't really mind. I am very much looking forward to sporting the finished item. Actually, they're announcing a heatwave in Britain, so I'll be right on cue!

I'll see you soon with more. Thanks for reading!