It's a while since I talked about crochet and wool. but I haven't been idle, in fact quite the opposite, I can't stop with the crochet hook!
I found some fabulous wool/silk mix yarn on Ebay, from this seller. Their shop has lots of beautiful wool in a rainbow of shades; much of it comes on cones, good for those larger projects, and they have now started selling 100g balls, which is ideal for my purposes. I chose an autumnal mix of aubergine, dusky pink, mustard, oatmeal and lemon and lime twist (sounds like a recipe) in this lovely nubbly yarn which has turned into this round cushion.
It is an unusual mix but I think it works :-)
When I was in Liverpool, my sister-in-law took me to an Aladdin's cave of a shop, Abakhan, a treasure trove of supplies for every craft under the sun, and of course, that includes lots and lots of lovely wool. They have an online shop too, worth a butcher's. It was like being let loose in a sweet shop, I left with a huge bag filled with brightly coloured wool. I decided to make a granny square blanket using lots of colour and a random combination of them.
A freefall colour experience for me, I usually like to be symmetrical ; I'm just keeping going till it's BIG.
Still a way to go before it's ready, but it's turning out nicely!
Continuing with the granny theme, I've seen a couple of lovely granny shawls recently and had a real attack of the wanties. Just the ticket for a cool summer evening in the garden, I thought, and it will definitely come in handy if we have another baltic winter! I'm just playing with the colours, but think I've found a good combination with these.
These are very 'me' colours! A concerted effort over the next couple of days and I should be able to show the FO shawl.
I hope your weekend is full of colour too.
There must have been hundreds of squirrels running about the park, I managed to snap this one, they don't really like posing for photos!
A lovely tranquil place in what is a busy urban area, good to know it's being looked after so well and is there for everyone to enjoy.
I've been working away making my nephew's multi-coloured blanket, a square here and there, but I got behind when I had to go on my travels for work and missed last weekend's birthday deadline. My nephew was very understanding and patient, he knows you can't hurry a good thing! So this weekend I had time for a final push...... this was the state of play on Friday.
After a Herculean effort, all that joining up and starting an edging which just didn't work and had to be frogged, it is complete.
I'm really pleased with the end result - I wasn't sure about the colours when I began making this, but I have to hand it to my nephew, he has picked a winning combination and I have tried a palette which I wouldn't have done, but for his choices. He loves it too :-)
The bright colours against the black edges put me in mind of stained glass, hence the inspiration for the name of this latest crochet creation......
Tom's stained glass blanket!
When I was down in Liverpool at Easter, my sister-in-law asked me to make a granny square cushion to go with their living room decor. She liked the ones I'd made already, and I was happy to oblige. Their living room colour scheme is soft grey with accents of green, black and red, so I chose a mix of light and dark grey, black, apple and moss green, red and white.
This is one side, a large granny square, just like my 2 previous granny square cushions. There are already some cushions with large flower designs in all of these colours in their room, so for the other side, I decided to use this design, Sarah London's wonderful Rose Motif pattern.
I made 12 of these
In these 4 variations of the colours used.
Here they are all joined together
I love making granny squares so that bit was easy, I'm a dab hand at them now! The rose squares appear complicated but were not too tricky at all, and they really look the business. I like the contrast between the flat granny square side and the raised texture of the roses side. I used a 4mm hook, and a mixture of wools, all from my stash.
Black and apple green - Sirdar Countrystyle DK
Red - Patons Diploma Gold DK.
Dark grey, light grey and moss green - Rowan Pure Wool DK.
White - Sirdar Snuggly DK.
And here's the finished article
Fastened with some red flower buttons
As luck would have it, it was my SIL's birthday yesterday, so I managed to finish in time for the big day :-)
Happy Birthday, Deb!
Day 1; Starting Out
How and when did you begin knitting/crocheting? was it a skill passed down through generations of your family, or something you learned from Knitting For Dummies? What or who made you pick up the needles/hook for the first time? Was it the celebrity knitting ‘trend’ or your great aunt Hilda?
There are 2 parts to this story. The first took place back in the 1980s when I was a teenager, and I took my first steps in learning how to knit. My Mum taught me and my sister and we spent ages choosing wool and knitting up a jumper each. It took a while, but I enjoyed making it and was proud of what I'd accomplished.I found an old photo; here I am, aged 16 or 17, resplendent in the self same jumper!
Very stylish! After this, the knitting seemed to stop, I'm not sure why but I think that at that tender age, I probably didn't have the patience to see another project through to the end, or the time, with schoolwork and all my burgeoning musical activities.
So that was the beginning, then there was a hiatus of 25 years. A different world, I now had a computer and the internet, and all that technology opened up new opportunities, a wealth of knowledge and online shopping! It was all these things and the advent of blogging that got me back to all things woolly. After reading many crafty blogs, I decided to pick up my needles again. I won a huge parcel of assorted needles on Ebay, got myself some wool and started to knit again. Scarves, cardigans, hats, squares to make blankets, I knitted them all. I practised stitch patterns galore, I acquired a stash and I was enjoying it tremendously. Then I stumbled upon a few blogs which were written by crocheters. I loved the patterns they were making, granny squares, hexagons, ripples; pretty and a bit different. I thought I'd like to try it and made a shaky start, deciphering those pictures in the books were not as easy as I had thought; then a helpful friend showed me the basics, and with a lot of practice, slowly but surely, I taught myself how to crochet. Something about crochet has struck a chord with me, I get such a buzz from it. It is the perfect way for me to unwind after a busy or stressful day. Now, just over a year after starting out, I'm a serious hooker, I try to do a little (preferably as much as I can) each day, I have an impressive (some might say excessive) stash and collection of hooks and lots of pattern books. I love how you can make such beautiful designs just with a ball of wool and a small metal hook. My perfect day would be spent with a crochet hook, some beautiful, colourful wool, a never-emptying pot of tea, the sun shining and the radio on with something interesting to listen to while I crochet away the time. I still like to knit every now and then, but crochet seems to suit me better - I really am HOOKED!
This week I've been trying to get started on a blanket for my 9-year old nephew. I've been scratching my head about this one, as I couldn't settle on a design I liked, and that I thought would be acceptable to the recipient. He has been quite specific about the colours he wants, black most definitely, dark red, yellow, dark blue and maybe green. Not my usual palette!!
I tried rippling, a geometric design and diagonal squares, but they didn't seem right. After a great deal of deliberation and frogging, I found this pattern over at Min Inspiration, a lovely blog I recently discovered. I like it; I worried at first that it was too girly for a cool young dude, but in these bright colours, it reminds me of the sun.
Edging all the squares with black makes it look
a) like stained glass
b) quite funky and modern.
It's also quick to crochet up, which is excellent. So this is the winner, I'll keep you posted as it grows and takes shape.
On Sunday I found myself looking across to the beach I was standing on in my last post.
I went over to the Wirral to see my brother and sister-in-law and we went for a windy and bracing stroll on the sea front. There's no beach over here at this point of the coast, but there's a long walkway, next to the sea wall.
All along this side of the Wirral Peninsula were once many lighthouses in Liverpool's history as a thriving port. They would guide the ships safely into the harbour and stop them running aground on the reefs close to the shore. With advance of technology, they are no longer in use, but some of them survive as historic buildings.
Just a stone's throw from the sea is Leasowe Lighthouse, looked after by a trust who open to the public on certain Sundays; luckily this was one of them. The trust have done a fantastic job of restoring this once derelict building, last used as a lighthouse in the 1900s, unoccupied since the 1930s. Apparently when they began work, the pigeon droppings reached the second floor........what a delightful cleaning job that must have been. Anyway. we climbed up the spiral staircase to the top.
The view; the windows caused reflection and I only had a few minutes to snap, but it gives a good impression of the panorama, and how good a view the lighthouse keeper would have had of all the ships approaching. Flags identifying every ship were raised at each lighthouse on the approach into Liverpool so the staff at the harbour were advised of the imminent arrival of each particular ship and could be ready for the changeover of cargo and crew.
You can just see the plaque stating the year of construction as 1763, it's stood the test of time and the elements incredibly well. And the 130 stairs have worked off some of those lovely Easter goodies!