Posts Tagged crochet project
Well, sort of but I’ll get that out of the way first.
I had lots of Stylecraft Special left after some other projects and decided to make another Attic 24 blanket. I made the Hydrangea Blanket a couple of years ago and it’s lovely with all the subtle shades a hydrangea flower can go through but this time I was using whatever colours I had left hanging around the place so it’s quite a lot brighter and not quite as big as the original which was big enough for a single bed.
Enough is enough. I think I could now add blankets to the list of ‘beyond life expectancy’ items I have which, to date, consists of fabric; yarn; quilts; clothes; shoes; cats – especially cats.
However, I still wanted something fairly simple to do whilst perched, like a little ball of confusion and stress, in front of Netflix of an evening. Then I spotted a PDF pattern online for something tempting. I had to order the ‘yarn’ though which took forever to come from a far flung corner of Eastern Europe.
It came in a 200m length on a massive spool.
Once I had completed the circle I knew I was going to enjoy this project. I was tempted to buy more cord – there are some amazing colours – but restrained myself to see whether I would like the finished item enough to want to make more.
Sometimes I can be sensible.
A lovely big 7mm crochet hook is what’s required and, although I feel it helps aesthetically, it doesn’t actually have to be pink.
The only thing left to do was an i-cord
Did you know that it’s called an i-cord because the woman who (sort of ) invented it said it was easy enough for an idiot to make?
I wonder if iphones were named on the same principle. 🤣
Anyway, this idiot had great fun making that long, slightly stretchy cord.
Not a blanket.
I’ll probably stop at one as they are so ridiculously quick and easy to make that I didn’t get very far at all through a Netflix series before I’d finished and, as the lockdown in France has been extended for another two weeks, I need something that will be with me for the long haul.
Encouraged, as I often am, by Kate over at Tall Tales From Chiconia, I am going to switch from crochet as my evening pursuit and get those hexies out and at least start joining them into flower shapes.
Just in case you feel enthused, I bought the PDF pattern for the crochet bag from this shop and it is downloadable immediately. I also bought the cord from her – it comes in wonderful colours – but, even before the current situation, it took quite a long time to come.
In my efforts to make gifts for people rather than buy stuff, I decided to make something for a friend’s ‘special’ (aka ‘scary’) birthday recently.
She is quite fussy so I wanted to make something she’d like and use and that wouldn’t clash with anything in her lovely house.
Perhaps I shouldn’t have chosen her then for my first attempt at crocheting Moroccan Tile stitch and raid my stash for the necessary super chunky wool no matter what colour. Hindsight is a wonderful thing.
Anyway, here is the result of my well meaning endeavours……..
a lined basket – with handles no less – using the aforementioned stitch.
This is quite a large basket measuring around 8 inches in diameter and about 7 inches high. It’s made with super chunky yarn and is also lined with yarn of the same weight so it’s substantial enough to stand up on its own. I used a free pattern which, reading the comments, appears to have caused a few problems with getting the size of the lining right in relation to the exterior.
I went down half a hook size for the outside (I used a 5.5mm) and a whole size and a half for the lining – a 4.5mm (won’t do that again!)
Blocking wasn’t mentioned and the jury seems to be out on whether it works on acrylic anyway but the lining was just a teensy bit small so I had to pull it tighter than it was possibly meant to be pulled in order to join it to the exterior. It became obvious that this had caused some narrowing at the handle level so I tried to make it as neat as possible and used a large glass circular vase to hold it open and pegs (pinging off now and then) to hold the handle section up.
Then I gave it all a squirt with the steam iron and left it for a while.
You can see that the basket goes narrower just before the handle section starts which it shouldn’t plus it isn’t entirely symmetrical which is all due to my overcompensating for other people saying their lining came out too big.
I wondered about giving it to her for her birthday after all because it’s not 100% perfect and I was, therefore, not 100% happy with it. In the end I bought some pretty hand towels to put in it, wrapped it in cellophane with a big bow and hoped she’d appreciate the fact I’d made her something even if she only uses it to let the cat jump in and out of.
I am definitely going to make another of these – they are large and very useful. I love the effect of the stitch which took a bit of getting used to but the free pattern I used had written and video tutorials which I followed avidly. You can find Tamara Kelly’s pattern on Ravelry and here
…..and this is how the experts do it.
Next time I will see if I have something in plain colours I can double up to super chunky thickness – I have lots of aran and dk weight wools in my stash – as I think I prefer the original version in the plain colours. Although I think the two different variegated yarns I used also create quite an interesting effect. This was a really fun project – a bit of a challenge but that never hurts once in a while does it?
Regular readers may remember that I have started to wave a crochet hook about in what I hope will be a productive fashion. I’ve made a few practice squares, hearts and circles and am halfway up a multicoloured ‘v’ stitch blanket but I’m also juggling two knitting projects and, like most of us, I can’t remember how many patchwork/dressmaking/commissioned thingies and various other craft projects I have on the go. When something catches my eye, however, I am very easily persuaded from my path and, when that something involves two of my favourite things – fabric and yarn – patchwork and crochet – that particular bull has to be taken by the horns and run with (or is that against the law now?)
So, in the manner of a fancy restaurant with a mélange of dishes gleaned from various parts of the world and calling it ‘fusion cuisine’, I am combining some double sided fabric squares with a border of crochet and making a fusion quilt – or, if I find it too difficult, a fusion handkerchief.
Here is a photograph from Fanny Lu Designs showing a corner of her High Tea Fusion Quilt which is where I got the inspiration (and the instructions!)
Detail of High Tea Fusion Quilt from Fanny Lu Designs – more photos and tutorial here
I went through a phase of buying charm packs (42 x 5 inch squares of coordinating fabrics for those not of the patchwork/quilting persuasion) and then never really knowing what to do with them so, although Tiffany uses 6 inch squares in her tutorial, I had two matching Moda charm packs in my stash all dressed up with no place to go so I decided to adapt, save some money and make some room in my stash at the same time – it can always be replenished later after all.
I also found a pack of 12 x 50g balls of Rowan organic cotton yarn that I had pounced upon like a woman possessed when it was laid on the floor along with numerous other packs of bargain yarns for knitters, crocheters and random passers by to rummage amongst in some sort of woolly rugby scrum. This was at some forgotten knitting/stitching show I attended at some forgotten time – I am more dignified these days 😉 Anyway, so much did I need that pack of 12 x 50g balls that I still have it, untouched, to this day. I thought, as it’s a quite nice ‘tea-stained’ colour, it would make a vintage looking border for my vintage looking fabrics and result in a pretty, vintage looking blanket (or hanky). Plus, as with the fabric charm squares, it would use up some stash and I would end up with a free quilt. ‘Free’ is a relative term when you are somebody who stockpiles yarn and fabric as you probably know if you have been interested enough to read this far.
Here is my first attempt. I quite like the colour but the yarn is a double knit and the Fanny Lu design uses a fingering weight (4-ply?) baby wool so it looks a little ‘thick’ and not as delicate as I might have liked. Also, that Rowan cotton is a mare for splitting and I didn’t fancy doing the whole blanket faffing about with split yarn, not at my novice stage.
So, I faced the fear and ordered a huge cone of ivory cotton 4-ply from eBay. I had it delivered to Mr. T’s office in London. When I spoke to him on the phone he asked me why I’d ordered a large spool of string. The fear returned.
I had a go with another pair of squares and the ‘string’ and I think this looks a bit more like the original idea of a delicate blanket with a vintage look.
I think the thicker yarn would also work – though not the splitty stuff unless you are a complete whizz with the hook and that stuff doesn’t bother you – but, obviously, it would give the finished blanket a different look.
Which do you prefer?
So, I’m going to make this a project I do with my sewing buddy on a Wednesday as we have ‘finished’ our Friendship Braid quilts we were making together. I say ‘finished’ but only the tops are done though we will complete the rest of it as individuals. Maybe. By contrast, this blanket can be made in small pieces and we can crochet the borders while having a chat and complaining about things in France and in general – at least I think that’s what we’re doing, my French isn’t perfect. My crochet skills aren’t perfect either – far from it – so I will probably get carried away from time to time moaning about French drivers (they don’t indicate – you’d think there was a tax on using the indicators or something), the lack of any decent restaurants round here (we’re in France for God’s sake!), the amount of dog poo on the pavements and anything else that takes us on the day and then I’ll have to undo what I’ve done and start again which, I must say, seems to be a lot easier with crochet than with knitting. Just as well as it’s not easy, putting the world to rights.
Time will tell whether I end up with a blanket, a table mat or a handkerchief or just lots of fabric squares with crochet borders waiting, at the bottom of a basket in a corner of my workroom, to be joined together which of course is yet another possibility.