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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

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I’m back!

Hello again,

It’s been a while since I wrote last – sorry about the lapse. The New Year brought a sense of relief that all the Christmas stuff was done and dusted accompanied by a slight lack of direction. Now that we are well and truly into February, though, stirrings of enthusiasm for projects new and further challenges have brought back the spark.

It has been a joy since January to see my group of crocheters filling the lounge on Monday mornings with their happy chit-chat. They are working on a variety of excitingly different projects and I love to see their progress from class to class and to witness their growing confidence.

One of my New Year’s resolutions has been to use up some of my ever-expanding stash …… the sock wool bought for its exquisite colour combinations, the odd couple of balls of yarn fancied and purchased with no real aim in mind. You know what it’s like to see the most glorious skeins in a shop and be totally unable to leave the shop empty-handed.

Sock yarn

So, on the look out for a suitable pattern to get the ball rolling I came across The Sea Glass Blanket which uses the most amazing crochet stitch pattern. Working in an ever-increasing or decreasing triangle which retains an excellent shape you can create wonderful fabric from multicoloured yarn. The stitch pattern is not easy to track down but it appears to be called crosshatch stitch.

I started with a small swatch in a DK variegated yarn

glorious texture

glorious texture

 

my first project using crosshatch stitch and Stylecraft Vision DK

my first project using crosshatch stitch and Stylecraft Vision DK

the completed cushion

the completed cushion

Then I tried out a small triangular shawl in the same stitch using Wendy Happy bamboo sock yarn. It worked out beautifully – soft with lovely drape and colour distribution.

Wendy Happy sock yarn

Wendy Happy sock yarn

 

The ladies in my group seem to have gone mad about this stitch and have been busy too:-

crosshatch stitch in chunky Yarn

J’s crosshatch stitch cushion cover front in chunky yarn

 

T's shawl

T’s shawl

Close up

 

J's shawl

J’s shawl

close up

 

I think we all share a love of colour and cannot resist stripes and all the wonderful self-striping yarns available.

Another member of the group has been working on a baby blanket :-

S's granny stripes

S’s granny stripes

just love the colours!

just love the colours!

 

I just love the progress everybody is making and it is just so satisfying to see their confidence growing as they exchange ideas for projects, patterns, hints about yarns and so much more. These Monday mornings have become a very valued part of my life now; long may they continue.

On that note I’ll say goodbye for now. Keep crafting.

Jenny xx

 

 

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Sock yarn but no socks!

Hello everyone,

What is it about sock yarn that makes it so irresistible? For me I think it is the colours. Don’t get me wrong, I like making socks and loved the sock-making classes which I attended at Miju Wools in Gloucester where I met some great knitters and had some expert instruction from Michelle  but when I see sock yarn it is not socks which come to mind first.

There are so many other ways to enjoy the colours of sock yarns ……

For ages I have wanted to try a sock yarn example of the granny stripes pattern from Lucy at Attic 24 and some recent stash busting led me to  this project.

an odd mix of colours

an odd mix of colours but I like them!

 

so pleased with Lucy's picot edging

so pleased with Lucy’s picot edging

 

During a visit to Get Knitted in Bristol for a Debbie Abrahams workshop on working up one’s stash I saw an example of this beautiful moebius cowl by Amanda Perkins. The choice of sock yarns there was quite amazing and the design such fun to work with the colour changes.

couldn't resist the yarn

couldn’t resist the yarn

 

The following pattern for a baby cardigan was designed by Frances Fletcher and can be found here.  I discovered it initially in a lovely little yarn shop in Hereford which has, sadly, since closed down. The yarn originally chosen was hand dyed and one skein was just enough for the project. This ensured complete originality on each garment. At the moment  I am making this for a friend’s new baby (pics of completed item to follow) and I am using Regia Kaffe Fassett Ombre Design for this one – I just love the muted colours which remind me of the heathery shades chosen by Kaffe during a visit to Scotland. He learned to knit on the train journey back to London and went on to complete his first striped sweater….. and the rest is history!

worked sideways

worked sideways

 

image

 

Another discovery has been the mitred square – using the pattern by Sue Ann Kendall found here I made this buggy blanket from oddments of sock yarn and incorporated one solid shade.

sock oddments well used

sock oddments well used

 

simple but structured

simple but structured

 

just love the way colours work together

just love the way colours work together

To me it is amazing that all the colours blend in so well and it is such a fun pattern to work. Each new square is added as you go so no seaming at the end. Brilliant!

The woolly prawn tie – well, I couldn’t not mention this could I since it is one of the patterns in The Woolly Prawn. The design is so simple but the finished tie can be so different depending on what type of sock yarn you use.

neat knot, sir!

neat knot, sir!

 

yarn bombing!

a spot of local yarn bombing?

So, you see, there’s no need to feel limited to socks when you browse through the wonderful colours of the sock yarns in the shops or online. There are so many ways of enjoying those shades or even using up remnants when your socks are completed.

Well, I’m off to enjoy the glorious spring sunshine now or, more precisely, to do a spot of gardening. Hope the weather stays fine over Easter.

Happy Easter everyone,

Back soon,

Jenny x