Wednesday, 29 January 2014

We all have to start somewhere

This is where I start.

I suppose the best place is to talk about what has inspired me so far in 2014. There have already been some finished projects, some ongoing ones and some which I am already close to abandoning. I struggle with anything which doesn't look like it is going to work out and one cushion cover which I am working on has that trepidacious (is that even a word?) feel to it already...More on that in a bit.

My 2013 inspirations

As this is my first post, I thought I would start with a few photos of my favourite creations, just so you can see things which are already getting a good use in my home already. Pity, you weren't here at Christmas though, because you would have seen my cute little crocheted stockings. 24 tiny ones all in different colours and with a number sewn onto each. They were strung up like Christmas lights and filled with Advent chocolates. Maybe next year when they come out of the Christmas box, I will take a photo or two. Those stockings gave me RSI and I thought my crocheting days were over. I love them all the same.

One of my favourite things is my project bag - made with two strands of whatever leftover DK wool I had. In this case it is mostly Freedom Sincere, kinda brownish wool. I used the tutorial from here and used the large bowl as a kind of template. Then I decreased slightly on each round as I reached the top. later on after I had used it for a while I figured out that it wasn't quite big enough and could do with a handle. So a few more rounds later and a gap on each side to accommodate my tiny hands and - there you have it, a bowly bag thing for whatever project I want to stuff in my handbag!

My husband even helped me with this one - he is just learning how to do single crochet, so this was a great opportunity to have a go. I was suitably impressed!

Then there is my mandala bowl. I used a pattern from one of the Simply Crochet magazines (issue 12) which is super easy to follow due to all the fab photos and then once it was finished I dipped it into a 50/50 mix of water and PVA glue until it was all sticky and gloopy. Then I found a nice round bowl and laid the soppy mess over it (upturned, obviously). I took the time to stretch it out and get it nice and even and then just left it for a couple of days.

Finally after putting it on the radiator, it dried and I was able to prise it from the bowl and it stayed in the shape you see before you. The point was to have something pretty to use for serving sweets for Christmas. Turns out this bowl is fantastically hard to use - but still very pretty. It isn't quite stiff enough and the shape isn't great. However, I love it and it now houses my pens on my desk - while waiting for a better use...another layer of PVA might make it more usable. But that is for another day...

My 2014 inspirations

So far this year (has it really only been four weeks?) I have been working on a cushion cover, yet again from my favourite mag - Simply Crochet. (issue 8, page 41) This time it is a stripey design. I have had to double the size of it because we like big cushions in our house, so it means that I had to improvise the pattern just a little. But is has been OK. The only concern has been the fact I am using a smaller hook than usual for DK yarn.

I usually go for a 4mm for DK, this gives my work a little give and stretch and it sits flat. However this time I wanted the cushion to be really firm, so I used a 3mm. This has made it curl up a bit, so I am worried and losing faith in my idea...But we shall see. I am not going to do the back - I will sew it to a backing in a colour yet to be determined.

As you can see, the sewing in of tails is pretty much a nightmare - but strangely soothing. I have chosen quite bright colours for this, so it should sit well in our living room where pops of colour make a regular appearance - but only within a particular palette. Reds, blues and bright greens feature heavily. I need to do a total of four panels - the second two have different combinations of colours and they sit opposite each other, creating a 3D effect. I am still in two minds about this and feel a bit put off by the finish - but we shall see.

My other current project is a lacey shawl - but I think that can wait for another day too :)

As I am writing this blog for all the beginners out there, I would love some feedback and ideas about what you would like to see and learn. Even if it is new to me, I will still research it and give it a go - we can learn together!

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