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Chartbusting ……. literally!

Hello,

Last September my lovely crochet group said that the area of crochet in which they felt least secure was working from charts. So, I decided that the time had come to put them through their paces; I know from experience how helpful it is to have the facility to locate a stitch on a chart and see where it lies in relation to the rest of a piece of work. Increasingly crochet patterns offer both written and charted instructions … unlike some of the vintage crochet designs which can be so offputting.

Throughout the autumn my ladies hooked their way through more than eighty squares of different colours and textures, working both in rows and in the round without using a single written instruction. They worked from a variety of stitch pattern charts that I had been able to print off or draw out – linen stitch, trinity stitch, blackberry salad, “v”stitch, iris stitch, shells and fans, clusters, bobbles and popcorns to name but a few – until they had crochet symbols coming out of their ears!

I could not bear to think of all that hard work lying unused in box somewhere and so, in January, the decision was made to join the squares. Nine ladies each undertook to join nine squares which were then crocheted together to form a bright and cheerful afghan.

nine times nine all joined

nine times nine all joined

Disparate square size was a bit of an issue but we overcame that by using a flexible zig-zag join and I imposed some rather agressive blocking and steaming!  The central border, created initially to enlarge that particular square,  is repeated around the outer edge.

Centre

 

Border

I am so pleased with the result and really hope that the exercise has given my group the extra confidence needed to take on future projects.

a bit of sunshine

a hint of spring sunshine

It is amazing just how many of my group at the start of the project were convinced that they would not be able to use charts but now they find them easier to follow than the written words and abbreviations.

Well done everybody … be proud of yourselves. I am proud of all the perseverance, effort and hard work you put into your work.

What next? Who knows … the sky’s the limit!

Happy crafting,

Jenny x

 

 

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Sharing and The Sheep Shop

Hello again,

Following my last blog on Kaffe Fassett I have been totally spoiled – two days last week were spent in Cambridge with a friend who has always shared my passions for colour, yarns and blue and white china. In fact, she has always been an inspiration to me when it comes to crafting and collecting and we have shared our love of these for forty plus years.

During the seventies and eighties we used to scour every woolshop in every town we visited for oddments of beautiful yarns – natural fibres in the scrummy colours which KF used – to stash in colour-coded drawers! Bric-a-brac shops beckoned to us, promising blue and white china treasures – in those days you could pick up an interesting jug or plate for a few pounds if you were lucky.

All these memories were revived last week and my visit to The Sheep Shop in Cambridge was a real treat ….. scrummy, squishy yarns in a rainbow of fantastic colours, all so needing to be touched. Members of the knitting group were busy working on varied exciting projects – just how you imagine an inspiring woolshop to be.  The owner even wanted to take my photo – now that is a first!

spot the odd ball out?

spot the odd ball out?

Now, red is not usually one of my colours but I found a lovely lambswool-cotton blend ….

Lambswool

Lambswool poppy

………………………………   perfect for the Remembrance poppies which I wanted to make before going to the poppy workshop to be held in one of my local yarn stores.

Blue, white and red

So Wednesday was spent at Miju Wools in Gloucester working up poppies from different patterns; some will be sold to the local community with proceeds going to The British Legion and some will be passed on to friends and family.

Poppies

If you live in the Gloucester area do check out what’s available in Miju Wools

knit and natter

knit and natter

lots going on

lots going on

just look at the colours

just look at the colours

– they also have some super gifts for craft lovers many of which are handmade by members of their knitting and crochet groups. There will be more workshops leading up to Christmas and regular classes are held on a weekly basis.

If you remember last time I wrote I was working on a cushion cover using the “magic ball” method. In fact, it has worked out well and the colours all blend together nicely. In the interests of symmetry I should really make another one to go the other end of the sofa …. but there are so many other projects queued that realistically I don’t think it will happen this side of Christmas!

So, Halloween projects here we come – there’s not much time left.

Enjoy your crafting too,

Jenny x