1

Broomstick, yoyo plus other crochet stuff

Hello,

Broomstick crochet is one of the techniques required for the International Diploma in Crochet. I had been putting it off as it looked a bit awkward but, in fact, it’s not too bad at all as it turns out.

My three samples all passed – just one or two issues with tension (again!)

You use a normal crochet hook and a huge 15mm knitting needle: loops are placed on the needle and then crocheted off in groups using double crochets.

The second sample shows that it is  possible to incorporate treble crochet between the rows of broomstick …..

I also had to show that I could use the same technique in a full size item so I used some gorgeous DK sock yarn bought in the USA to show off the open stitches.

 

A while ago a friend brought me a lovely pack of Scheepjes cotton in stonewashed colours. As they were mini balls I had no real plan as to what I would make but then, last week, I noticed the yo-yo stitch in a magazine.

I’d never met the stitch before but it looked as if it would work well in the different colour cottons which are similar in tone to the Turkish rug in our lounge and I could just visualise a coffee table centre to coordinate.

Apart from the obvious nuisance of having ends to weave in after every little circle the pattern is effective and I’m loving the way it is working up …..

The other good thing about this project is that it is very portable and as we have quite a few trips planned it should grow on our numerous journeys. Cotton is cool for working on hotter days as well so it will probably come to Greece with me in a couple of weeks.

I hope you all have some “cool” crochet on the go for the days ahead. Crochet and/or knitting as therapy is being advocated more and more regularly at the moment – having included a feature on the health benefits of these crafts in our book, The Woolly Prawn in 2012 my daughter and I are encouraged to hear of any real initiatives to promote this.  Those of us who enjoy knitting and crochet know the benefits. Let’s spread the word wherever we can.

Happy knitting and crocheting,

Jenny x

Advertisements
6

Second batch results and braids to go!

Hello again,

I just thought I would update you briefly on how the crochet study is going. My second set of samples came back very quickly – pleased to report that they all passed, in the upper band of 90% or over. I was relieved that the sample of double crochet ……  should have been the easiest of all ……. was fine this time as I seem to have sorted the problem with the edges and turning chains. Phew!

My mentor for the course appears to place more emphasis on hook size than Pauline did when she marked my first pieces. I shall, therefore, have to consider more carefully matching hook size to yarn in order to achieve a better drape. I can see that in the creation of fabrics to wear this is important and, probably, not having made many garments has made me less aware of the need to crochet a looser fabric. As you know, most of my previous projects have been afghans, cushion covers and other household items.

So, here are the next five samples which passed muster:

1.

trebles into spaces

trebles into spaces

2. Working a triangle from a single double crochet stitch proved a real challenge so it was great to read that it is a “lovely piece of work”.

triangle in double crochet worked from a point

triangle in double crochet worked from a point

3. This next sample worked from slip stitches up to quadruple trebles – four rows of each using the same hook and same number of stitches – illustrates well the issue of hook size since it seems so tight at the bottom but far too loose and uneven at the top, the widest point. Even here a point was deducted for using a 4.00 mm hook instead of a 4.50mm.

basic stitches getting taller every four rows

basic stitches getting taller every four rows

4. I loved doing the chevron and incorporating some colour; hook size was an issue yet again and the lack of visual balance because the sample did not finish with the same colour as at the beginning. I’m pretty sure, though, that in a proper project such as a blanket or cushion cover I would not do that.

chevrons worked without holes

chevrons worked without holes

5. Sorry this is not a very good image of the basket weave stitch I used to show a heavily textured fabric in trebles. I love the finished texture but wow ….     it uses a load of yarn.

example of heavily textured fabric in trebles

basket weave stitch working round front and back posts

My next samples will be examples of five different braids. Pauline herself writes “What is or is not a braid is a debatable point” so students are indeed expected to interpret in their own way. I have opted for what I consider to be the safe option – strips of fabric with identical side edges. Who knows what my tutor’s view is? Let’s hope for the best.

five braids

five braids

Well enough of my ramblings! News of my first garment project to follow soon. In the meantime have a good weekend lots of happy crochet and knitting.

Jenny x

0

From parcel string to pots to pebbles

Happy St. David’s Day to you all for Saturday.  It was so lovely to celebrate it in sunshine with big bunches of daffodils.

signs of spring

signs of spring

Crochet is so very versatile …. I was reminded of this last week when somebody was fascinated by the granny square border on the cotton top which I have been finishing off. “Nobody does it any more”, she said “and granny squares are so old fashioned”. I had to put her right and enlighten her on the wealth of different projects now available and also the increasing numbers of people wanting to learn the craft.

My motif border top is indeed finished and just needs a bit of blocking; I must admit to being pleasantly surprised at how well the design has turned out and how much I enjoyed working with the fine cotton thread – all we need now is the summer weather to wear it.

finished at last

finished at last

Now, crochet with parcel string is a completely different concept and not kind to the hands. But …. the results can be amazing.

When I saw Vicki Brown’s design for storage containers in Issue 40 of Inside Crochet I was intrigued as to how it might be possible to work in parcel string and incorporate super chunky yarn. How can a piece of crocheted fabric stand up unaided and be strong enough to put things in? It’s a little miracle of crochet!

Here are the results ..

Clever effect

Clever effect

Chunky strands

Chunky strands

Pleased with these

Pleased with these

….. and it was both easier and faster than I imagined. Those balls of chunky yarn lurking in my stash will have a use after all as my storage baskets multiply in number.

One of my favorite crochet books at the moment is hook,yarn and crochet by Ros Badger. I have already worked some of her crocheted pebble patterns and to give my hands a rest from the rather tough string I tried the Tea light cuffs  ….   just new my empty Bonne Maman jam jars would come in useful for something. What better way to protect perfumed candles when sitting outside on those balmy summer evenings which we look forward to at this time of year.

can't wait to see it with a candle in

can’t wait to see it with a candle in

How lovely is this? You can make one in an evening.

I rest my case: crochet is not as passé as people think. For those of us who are hooked on hooking wool, cotton, string or whatever the queue of projects in our to-do list is endless. Better get on with something then….

Bye for now,

Jenny x

0

Summer on my mind

Hello again,

It’s been a while since I wrote last I’m afraid. My decluttering has brought to light some interesting bits and bobs – amongst them a booklet of beautiful summer crochet patterns, “Crochet: Southern Comfort” by Twilley’s. Now, I know that I don’t usually make garments but one look at these designs had me hankering for a couple of these tops. I think it’s all to do with my passion for lace and crochet motifs.

My disappointment to find that Southern Comfort cotton had been discontinued turned to delight when I found the website A Woolly Tail selling their last 100g balls at £1.50 each – a bargain not to be missed!

summery colours of Southern Comfort

summery colours of Southern Comfort

So, I have started the top and in spite of a couple of shaping issues it is progressing well. The motifs are fun to do; it’s great how they join together to make a lovely fabric

Single motif

Single motif

one strip of motifs

one strip of motifs

I think the upper part of the top must be what is referred to as filet crochet which I have never attempted before.

armhole shaping

armhole shaping

One of my Christmas treats was some yarn from Liberty’s and so last week – on the day of the tube strike, coincidentally – we set off. The day proved a bit of a challenge with all the transport issues but Liberty’s was every bit as beautiful as it had appeared in the TV series shown last autumn. Every floor is a designer’s paradise and the displays are quite stunning.

Hooked now on summer crochet I selected Rowan’s Holiday Crochet and Panama yarn for another top …….. love the feel, colour and sheen of this cotton / linen mix.

love the sheen on this cotton/linen blend

love the sheen on this cotton/linen blend

fascinating ply

fascinating ply

I couldn’t resist the colours of Rowan’s very unusual thick and thin yarn either since I was being treated!

yummy colours

yummy colours

could look good crocheted with string

could look good crocheted with string

It looks as if it will work well woven with parcel string into crocheted storage containers …. but more of that next time.

Jenny x