Sunday, 21 February 2016

Scarf Project and Freeform Crochet Heart

The last couple of weeks have involved a lot of sitting about in waiting rooms again. As this is likely to be the case for a while, I decided to start a new crochet project to stop me from getting too anxious while I’m waiting around and also to counteract the boredom which I’m inevitably going to experience.

After what seemed like five minutes spent browsing through the patterns on Ravelry (but which was in reality many happy hours) I eventually settled on this scarf pattern from Joanita at Creative Crochet Workshop. Her blog is really lovely, full of modern, bright and colourful crochet patterns along with lots of inventive ideas.The scarf was specifically designed for using up those scrappy oddments of yarn which are left over from other projects and was offered as a short crochet- a-long between 20th January 2016- 10th February 2016. It is still available on her blog and she even has a PDF of the pattern if you'd like to buy one.The pattern itself appeals to me on a number of different levels but there were three main reasons why I chose it:

  1. I wanted a super-portable project which wasn’t too big or heavy and which could quickly and easily be swept out of the way into my bag.
  2. It’s a fairly straightforward pattern which I don’t have to concentrate on too much.
  3. I wanted to do something creative based on the idea of ‘Love’ as it is this month’s theme for the ‘Creative Every Day Challenge’ and this pattern incorporates many of the elements of crochet which I am totally passionate about.
I've got on reasonably quickly with it so far and have completed:

Eight crochet rings

Four flower wheels

Six small solid flowers

Two of the four granny flower squares

This means that I've almost finished Part 1

I'm really happy with my colour choice for these as they remind me a bit of Easter and look very Spring-like. I don't know about you but I am definitely ready for Spring to arrive now!

One of the things I adore about crochet is that even the simplest motifs can be given a whole new look just by by changing your yarn, so I know that this scarf would look equally as good in a variety of different colour schemes and textures. In fact, one of the things which I liked about this pattern is that it is pretty much freeform crochet. And I really love freeform crochet!

Freeform Scumble 1.

I haven't done as much freeform as I would have liked to, mainly because I got sidetracked for a long time (also known as obsessed) with making blankets. But the few things which I have made are rather fun. I'm particularly proud of this Freeform Crochet Heart.

.Front of Freeform Crochet Heart

Back of Freeform Crochet Heart

Detail of Freeform Crochet Heart

It's made from a variety of different yarns including DK, Aran and Chunky. Some of the yarn also came from a beautiful scarf from Accessorize which I'd worn until it was falling apart but which I couldn't bear to part with. I carefully frogged it so that I could reuse the yarn for this project. 

It's funny what you fall in love with isn't it? X

Sunday, 7 February 2016

Watercolour Pencils

This week, I managed to find some time to practice with my new watercolour pencils. I began by doodling with them over a watercolour background (more as a mark making exercise than anything else) as I hoped it would help me to get a feel for the pencils and what I could achieve with them. I'm heavily influenced by textiles so I not only wanted the marks I made to reflect this but I also wanted them to mimic the random effect created by the stitched mark in crazy patchwork. Sadly, the results weren’t quite as successful as I’d hoped they would be. I suspect this was more to do with my lack of technique than anything else as I really couldn’t get to grips with them at all. Now I’m left wondering if I will ever use them again!  I tried to fix it by overworking some of the marks with sharpies to highlight certain areas and to blend others together, as I was at EC's and didn't have my acrylics with me. 

I think that this worked quite well and I'm a lot happier with the finished piece. 

I also started with a watercolour page as the background for my next attempt

I got seriously carried away on this one though and really overworked it. It's not what I wanted at all. 

Half of the problem is that once I crack open the sharpies my love of graffiti spills out and I feel the need to cover every available surface with doodles and scribbles. The other day, EC suggested out that sharpies are 'just glorified felt-tip pens' (shock horror) but I keep trying to explain that no, they are so, so, so much more than that. They do vaguely remind me of my childhood though, so perhaps my love of sharpies and doodles are just me hankering for the past, as if I'm trying to recreate the youth I misspent scrawling my name on school desks. Who knows? X

Wednesday, 3 February 2016


Hot-Butter Popcorn Block

I crocheted the main body of these blocks in a very bright  variegated pink yarn and worked the popcorns in the same dark red  as I used  in Part 1 for the final round of the granny squares. Personally, I would have preferred to work a multiple of 3 rows of popcorns as I think odd numbers tend to work better visually, but that’s probably just the latent gardener in me coming out.

They look OK with the squares from Part 1 as the red of the popcorns gives a bit of continuity between them.  I think this will be important later in the project when I’m picking from evermore random balls of yarn!

I didn’t follow the pattern entirely as written and  reversed the order of the rows to so that it made more sense to me. I also noticed that (despite the stitch count being correct) the original pattern actually increases one stitch at the beginning of the row and decreases one stitch at the end of the row. This gives a bit of a messy edge and actually makes it harder to get the popcorns in a straight line.

 I use a different method of working the beginning and ends of rows which gives the right  height to the stitches, avoids the ‘holes ’which are sometimes created by long stitches at the beginning of rows and  which also helps line up the popcorns in a straight line while giving a completely straight edge. I’ve written up how I do this in case anyone would find this helpful.

Yarn over,
Insert hook into the same stitch as the beginning ch 3 and pull up a loop (3 loops on hook)
Yarn over; pull through 2 loops on hook
Yarn over,
Insert hook into the next stitch and pull up a loop (4 loops on hook)
Yarn over; pull through 2 loops on hook
Yarn over,
 Pull through remaining 3 loops
Work pattern until the end of the row -
Make sure to work into the very last stitch (which is created by the beginning chain 3 stitches from the previous row) otherwise your stitch count will be wrong and your edge will be wonky. 

I hope this helps! X