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    Entries in crochet (28)


    New Pattern: Aquilegia Hat

    The first issue of The Crochet Project is here! And it's lovely :) I especially love the cardigans. Crochet is often great for blankets & homewares, but not so attractive to wear. The Crochet Project have managed to offer designs that are feminine, pretty & extremely wearable. Lovely!

    Photo ©Kat Goldin

    My contribution is a crocheted hat. Many crochet hats are brightly coloured, holey and tightly fitted. Now, there's nothing wrong with that, but I wanted to try something different. And I was so pleased with the result.

    Aqueligia is the botanical name for the group of flowers knon as Granny's Bonnets. The hat is soft, drapey, gathered at the crown & has interesting textures throughout. The fit is softer than a beanie, but with less volume than a tam.  It's also very easy to adjust the size/degree of slouchiness to suit you & the yarn you are using. The sample was made in Artesano alpaca dk which is soft & drapey & co-operative! 

    The construction is not one that I've seen anywhere before. It's crocheted from the bobbles up, then the brim is added after. The unusual bobbles & the linked stitches give it an intermediate rating, but actually nothing is difficult, just unfamiliar. It whizzes along once you get going. I made myself one in a natural cream colour:

    The pretty edging gives a slight picot effect, and I added an extra round before the crown decreases to allow for the difference in fabric between alpaca & the springy merino used here. I love that I can wear it as a slouch hat or pulled down over my ears to combat the wintry winds we are being treated to here! 

    You can buy the pattern at The Crochet Project website, or at  Ravelry here. It's £3 well spent!


    9/14 Sneaky peeks

    Have you heard about The Crochet Project? It's a new venture, set up by Kat Goldin & Joanne Scrace, both young crochet designers who want to improve the desirability of crochet patterns, which often seem to lag behind knitting patterns. So an online collection of downloadable patterns made in glorious yarns by exciting designers is ON THE WAY, FOLKS!!!

    One of those designers is me!

    Kat recently tweeted a picture of the samples ready to photograph. The colours & textures look gorgeous - go look here. Nice, aren't they? Mine is the pink one at the bottom, and I just love it :) In fact, I need to buy some yarn at Unravel so that I can make one for myself!

    In other (non-crochet) news, my cardigan is nearly finished:

    If I get a move on, I'll be able to finish the sleeve, weave in the ends, block it and dry it in time to wear it tomorrow. Fingers crossed x




    Yesterday's 'Carry on Hooking' workshop went really well. It's an intermediate course, and I tried to direct it towards what people specifically wanted to cover. Lots of laughter, wine & homemade raspberry muffins helped to keep the atmosphere relaxed despite the fairly steep learning curve. 

    We all made some simple flowers to start with. Using a disappearing or magic loop was new to many of the students. It's my favourite way to work in the round, so we practised it a lot! Then we dived into some different projects.

    Some practised working from a charted design

    And others wanted written instructions clarified. We talked about how to understand written patterns - which were like double dutch when I first started crochet. Hopefully we managed to demystify both instructions & charts a little bit for everyone :)

    The space at Tomatojack Arts Studio is lovely - light  and cosy, with sloping ceilings and a feeling of being a little bit separated from the rest of the world, looking out over higgledy piggledy rooftops and cobbled lanes. I always hand out feedback forms, and the venue has been complimented several times. The comments were lovely again. About half the attendees had already been to one of my workshops, so my non-fluffy teaching style (somewhere between brutally honest & bossy!) must not have scarred them for life! Almost everybody gave the top rating to 'How enjoyable was the workshop' so I was really pleased with that. One of the top performers was the youngest attendee - still at primary school, and only crocheting since christmas. Young minds & hands can be so open & quick to learn. She fit in so well, I forgot there was a child in the group!

    I need to sort out my next lot of workshops now. I'm thinking of doing more intermediate knitting ones - better cast on/binding off, lace knitting, knitting in the round, sock knitting. I've been asked to do a bagmaking sewing workshop, and I've been asked to do another crochet workshop to follow on from this. I'm really enjoying the teaching experience. I's also like to start offering workshops at different locations - so if you would like a workshop near you, let me know.




    Finished prepping for tomorrow's workshop at Tomatojack Arts Studio.  This one sold out a few weeks ago.

    The flowers are for practise working from a written pattern with chart as backup, and how to change a pattern to suit your yarn. I also bought 2 bottles of wine - I'm pretty sure that it will be a really good afternoon!

    Hope your saturday afternoon is as Happymaking as mine xx


    Arty Manchester - with crochet too!

    We had a few days going to see DH's relatives in Todmorden. We had a great time, and one of the things we enjoyed was a trip to Manchester. We took in Forbidden Planet, the comic book store, ahead of the twin's 11th, and DH's birthdays. We also visited Manchester's Art Gallery which was a manageable size with 3 kids and a couple of hours.
    The boys all loved this picture:

    Sadly I forgot to make a note of the artist and title, and it's slipped my mind. I can see why they all liked it though - it's a pretty full on action picture don't you think?

    The last thing I expected to see was some crochet - but in the craft & design gallery, we found these, made by Catherine Carr. They are hand crocheted with multiple fine strands of recycled glass, which is then fired to make these spectacular pieces of art:

    There are more and better pictures on her website. And they are for sale too........ 

    On the trip back we stopped at the Trafford Centre. I had forgotten how big and how nice it is. I knew I would finish the baby shawl before getting home, so on the twins advice, I bought this:

    The book is called Crobots, 20 amigurumi robots to make, by Nelly Pailloux. It's charming and quirky - and I have two orders in from 2 boys that are closely related to me..... the pink one is not for them - I told them I would do a trial one first.

    I did finish the second baby shawl, and here it is blocking. It measures 42" across and while I'm not totally sold on the colours, I think I've come up with a design that works with the wild combinations rather than fighting them, but that still had enough interest to stop me getting too bored! What do you think?