The Granny Squares with a twist is in development and I’m having good fun. There are another couple to roll off the hook before pattern and production can be set in motion, the colours are working well, I think and the only question is if I can twist them further.
How I love the creative process, to me it really is the ultimate journey!
I have this notion that these should be made up with a warm red colour from Cushendale Wollen Mills, but my stash appear to have been diluted of that particular colour. I feel a trip to Graig-na-managh coming on this coming week!
I have had a few nice days off and for some reason, the crochet hooks have been fairly idle too! However, I am preparing workshops for the new year and not least my regular classes which commence on Thursday January 10th again and last night an idea for some fun Granny Squares struck – Granny Squares with a twist at that!
I have really had a hard time keeping the props I made for the new Asterix movie “Astérix et Obélix Au Service De Sa Majesté” under my belt, I did all this work more than a year ago and I have been so excited about it but had to keep quiet – people that know me well, might say have a wee snigger at the thought of a quiet me… One way or another, I managed to keep quiet!
Set designer Véronique Melery not only asked me to work the pretty frilly edges for the Wedgwood cups and apple covers, she also asked me to make a nesting box and a bird for the garden in which Obelix takes his afternoon tea. We chose the wonderful Double Knit yarn from Cushendale Woollen Mills, probably my all time favorite double knit quality yarn – yes, I like scratchy yarn. The colours and stitch definition in this yarn is second to none!
Véronique asked me to do a Robin which strictly speaking would not nest in a nesting box, but that is merely a technicality and aren’t the movies all about make-believe anyway? The Robin also ended up having blue eyes which should have been black, but they did not stand out enough in black…
The nest box was fun to make and the bird was no less than exhilarating to have a go at. I used Istex Einband for the bird and used a combination of crochet and embroidery to capture the details.
I have done a good bit of commission work of late, something I very rarely do as I find it has a tendency to curb my own creativity. However, the Blue Morph can most certainly not by any stretch of the imagination be something that would curb my creativity. Quite the opposite!
I received a phone call from a young woman some weeks ago, she needed two dolls crochet to be used in a classroom setting. The dolls were to represent Joseph and Mary and then they were to double up as St Patrick and St Bridget too. Two dolls and four outfits. Again, I had completely free reign and I set to work.
My first port of call was what yarn to use, and to be honest, I never actually gave that much thought as I felt it obvious to use the wonderful Cushendale Woollen Mills DK, it’s robust, has the most wonderful stitch definition and the colours are simply just outstanding and to top it off, it’s dyed and spun in Ireland so it even fits the “Think Global, Shop Local” bracket, something that is very close to my heart.
I had to be concious that the dolls would have to be seen from afar with up to 30 children in the classroom and the teacher at the top of the class. The dolls had to be of a manageable size, they ended up about 60 cm tall and I gave them simple features too – any fussy detail would be “lost in the crowd”.
I worked the two dolls in one piece starting from the top down and the clothing was worked in the same way. Basically I used the “keep it simple” approach.
Fortunately, the woman who ordered the dolls was happy with them and I have to say, so am I. I am not a cuddly toy woman, but I really enjoyed making these two, I found the facial features a particular challenge that was very enjoyable to figure out. And the hands and the feet, and the sandals – I want a pair!
I’m currently working on the pattern which will be released in it’s own good time. But for now, I simply just wanted to share the picture. It is nice and warm to wear and I have a feeling another one may just roll off the hook in other colours as the shape is quite flattering.
It was great fun to crochet this tunic, I basically worked each element three times before I settled on the design. There are still a couple of tweaks to do, but they can be done in the maths of the pattern. I’m quite excited about this sweater. It’s warm and I think it’s pretty too. Nice with a good feeling of achievement after a lot of crocheting.
The yarn used is the Irish Cushendale DK from Cushendale Woollen Mills. I would like to make a version in Donegal Soft DK although their colours are not quite as exquisite as Cushendale’s, if you ask me, but then that yarn is so soft… Hard choice! Knowing me, it will be colour that wins. It always is. Every time!
On Friday night I started working on a crochet poncho, I had this idea that a new poncho would suit my wardrobe just right and at the same time the end product could be used in my upcoming workshop and crochet class where participants can design their own poncho. It’s a fun class and I had the best time picking colours for the project! I landed on main colours in Cushendale DK and some Noro Silk Garden Lite for a bit of discreet colour effect.
However, once I started crocheting the poncho morphed itself into a sweater, which meant there was quite a bit of ripping and perhaps just the tiniest bit of cursing involved. Just a bit, naturally! However, when the sweater was well under way the poncho yet again took on a life of it’s own and morphed further by turning itself into a tunic. Or rather, it turned itself into wanting to become a tunic and there was the corresponding amount of ripping and just the tiniest bit of cursing involved too. And right now, I think I’m on the home stretch, but only time will tell. Sleeves are yet to be made as is most of the main body and God only knows what that will morph into, but one thing is for sure, I’m fairly well rehearsed in the cursing department, whatever happens! Wish me luck!
PS. I made a typo in the word ‘crochet’ when I was writing this and the spell checker suggested ‘ricochet’ as the correct spelling… Now, there’s a thought!
I have wanted to do a lap blanket in the tried and trusted style of the Granny Square for a while. I like the simplicity of the stitch and find that very many of my crochet pupils have only this as a frame of reference in crochet from their childhoods. I often see people finding their long lost skill from then after a couple of rounds of double crochet stitches, they find the embodied knowledge and automatically move on to trebles almost without my saying anything. It’s an interesting observation, to realize that we carry this old knowledge just under our skin and very little is sometimes needed to re-kindle it.
When I selected the yarn for this blanket I went for the lovely Cushendale DK and Mohair. I adore that yarn. My simple inspiration is the trip I had to the Irish Sea last weekend where I enjoyed looking at the foam from the waves licking the coast and stretching my eye far to find the horizon.
The Cushendale colours are outstanding and always just right! In this case I use the green Rowan colour to symbolise the land as it meanders it’s way down to where the surf is foaming up, which is illustrated by the Glacier Mohair. The Sea colour illustrates the deep blue colour that you see immediately off shore, where the seabed plunges down into the deep and the Jade colour is illustrating the green, shining expanse that you see when you lift your eye to find the line of the horizon in the distance.
This is the simplest of manifestations of inspiration ever, but no less valid than the complicated manifestations in my books.
Months ago I started this nice cardigan designed by my gifted friend, Liselotte. I worked it in the brilliant 4 ply pure wool yarn from the Irish Cushendale Wollen Mills. The yarn is coarse and warm and versatile and hard wearing and the colours are always just right, as is the price – and then there is the bounce. I know, I know, I keep going on about that yarn, but it really is special! I also used Kauni Effect which I really like for the colour too, it’s coarse and the smell of lanolin from it really never allows you to forget that it’s a natural fibre you are working; just the way I like it! As you probably know by now, I have a severe allergy to petrol based yarn…
I had the cardigan crochet in no time, but because I made some modifications to the way I used the yarn, so that the same stripe from the Kauni Effektgarn runs all the way across from one sleeve, across the body and then over to the other sleeve, the finishing was quite a fiddle that I kept putting off. Naughty me! Under normal circumstances the sleeves would have been different to the body, but I didn’t want that and in the process dug a deep hole for myself as my preference meant I had very many ends to secure, although I did crochet them away as I went, but they still needed attention; every single one of them, if you get my drift… Because of the modification I did, I had to sew up the sleeves too, which turned out neat and tidy. Nice.
I just know that this cardigan is going to be a much loved garment. I am going to wear it to death and with the winter conditions we have here at the moment, I’m only delighted that I have an excuse to wear it!
The Irish summer heat seeped out around July first, we’re back to rain and low temperatures as per usual but who says we can’t use summer colours anyway? I am at the moment.
The Summer Candy Swirl Beanie was completed in fun summer colours. It’s just a little sample that will only fit a child’s head, the spiral on it was fun to make. I enjoy to crochet spirals.
Right now I’m preparing the Tapestry Crochet Class for next Saturday at The Yarn Room and I’m having great fun. I made the first couple of samples a while back, one is the Little Girl’s Pouch which is also very summery in colour indeed.
Colourful Tapestry Crochet Samples In Cotton
I have a little cat crochet in a Egyptian style, it’s fun but it will need much more work. I’ll enjoy the creative journey that will be.
The woollen Tapestry Crochet sample is my all time favourite so far. I adore the coarse Cushendale DK yarn that has such wonderful stitch definition and durability. And then there is the colours that are simply to die for. The saturation is just right, the hues and tones are done to perfection and the fleck is just fantastic!
I will work on a couple more samples and see if I can think up some fun and inspiring designs to work with. You see, to me the best journey of all is the creative process and that is the summer journey I intend for this weekend. Tapestry Crochet, here I come!
Note: Tapestry Crochet – €25
• Part 1: Saturday 24th July 2010 from 3 – 5pm
• Part 2: Friday 6th August 2010 from 3 – 5pm (if you just want to learn the technique, you do not need this class)
• Learn how to crochet Tapestry. You will need basic crochet skills to get the most out of the class.
Class booking can be done at The Yarn Room online shop or by calling the shop on Tel: +353 (0)85 1303762
I am Scandinavian, I adore Fair Isle knitting, I love colour and crochet and all these elements come together for me in Tapestry Crochet. I am currently preparing a workshop in Tapestry Crochet and had this notion that the yarn from Cushendale Woollen Mills would be ideal for this purpose. The yarn is hard wearing and the colours are simply second to none.
Yesterday I finished this little handy bag covered in diamond shapes. I just need to find the right button. The design I made reminds me of a large embroidered cushion my grandmother had. Funny how my granny seems to crop up all the time.
My next item will be in pure cotton which can give a good hard-wearing fabric too. I’m thinking summer, I’m thinking sunshine, I’m thinking handy little essentials bag.