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My own ta-dah moment …… well, not quite but maybe!

Hello everybody,

In my last post I hinted at something a bit special – well, this could be one of those projects.

I might, just might, have designed my very own throw/afghan: loosely speaking, of course, because the overall visualisation of the design came from the sunflower blanket which one of my ladies had made and the individual motif design is one of Jan Eaton’s from 200 Crochet Blocks.

It all began with our Baltic Cruise and the visit to Oslo where I found these beautiful colours in 100% Tynn Alpakka 4ply – I couldn’t resist!

bought in Oslo

my colours

my colours

So, when we returned from France in August I had to make a decision as to how I was going to get the best effect from this gorgeous yarn. I had already seen and favourited The Mercerie’s Crochet Sunflower Blanket on Ravelry and had loved it when it had been beautifully made by a friend.

sunflower corner

sunflower corner

 

I knew I needed a contrasting colour to show off my chosen palette of blues and purples and Drops Baby Alpaca Silk in silver grey seemed a good match in terms of both texture and weight ….. (it also had the advantage of being readily available in the UK which is not true of the Tynn Alpakka)

Having chosen the Willow motif for the centre and border it was great fun to randomly use the colours and then join them together with the grey ..

willow motif

willow motif

40 border squares completed

40 border squares completed

Central motifs

Central motifs

So far so good – and fortunately the granny stripes all seemed to work. I remembered to turn the work after each colour to avoid tilting and that does seem to have done the trick. Why did we crocheters not know of that before? So many tilted squares would have been avoided!

I'm pleased with the centre motifs

pleased with the centre motifs

the centre is nearly done

the centre is nearly done

Now the challenge is to fit the centre into the border of motifs – I suspect that quite a bit of trial and error will be needed here as I have not been counting exact numbers of clusters and spaces. I merely measured each completed motif and have aimed to finish the central square at the correct dimensions. The wool is quite stretchy though so who knows how the joining will go …. I am hoping to join with slip stitches on the final treble cluster round.

will this all fit together?

will this all fit together?

Well, that’s where I am at the moment and I’m really excited about finishing this project.  I shall then have to decide on a suitable edging using the yarn I have left – treble clusters, doubles, shells, picots or a combination of all these? Who knows?

I just wanted to update you but there’s work to be done yet so I’d better say goodbye for now and look forward to that final ta-dah moment sometime soon!

Have a great Sunday.

Jenny x

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Back from Holiday

Hello again.

France was great – as always – and the weather exceptionally hot. The combination of having five grandchildren on the campsite with us (!!)and the high temperatures did not lend itself to a great deal of crochet activity but I did manage one small project.

Just before leaving for France I had learned that a local yarn shop was closing down and so was able to pick up this Italian cotton at a good price ..

Italian cotton

Italian cotton

It was just right to try out the corner-to-corner square featured in the Deramores CAL. Since I didn’t have enough yarn to do a whole afghan I decided on a cushion cover.

love the symmetry

love the symmetry

four square front

four square front

I just love the way this pattern takes shape and the symmetry of placing the four squares together – very satisfying.

I have decided to keep the back cover very simple – a single grey square

stitched up and ready to go

stitched up and ready to go

…….. so just need to find a cushion to fit now.

We met a very talented and creative jeweller on our campsite who had been working on some interesting necklaces through the winter. I was lucky enough to purchase two of them – one has some very fine crochet on it and the other some beautiful pebbles. They felt very appropriate to my particular interests.

campsite craft

campsite craft

autumn colours

autumn colours

such talent

such talent

pebbles

pebbles

gorgeous!

gorgeous!

How gorgeous are these and so individual – I’m really looking forward to having an opportunity to show them off.

For now though it’s time to settle back into a more normal routine and get back to my crochet sessions. I have some exciting projects to come which I’ll tell you about next time.

Keep those hooks busy,

Jenny x

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Chunky and scrunchy

Hello again,

Who could have imagined that I would ever be writing a blog post about chunky yarn and, wait for it ……. bearing in mind that I am a self-professed yarn snob ……… 100% acrylic to boot!!

I blame it all on Lucy of Attic 24 – do check out her totally amazing blog if you haven’t already. Love, love love it!

This adventure began with my rather large order of chunky yarn to make a draught excluder for my son-in-law before Christmas. I seriously overestimated how many balls I would need and ended up with what really looked like more than I started with!

My most inspiring blogger, Lucy at Attic 24 came to my aid with her infectious enthusiasm for Stylecraft Special Chunky. Her jolly yarn bag pattern immediately attracted me and, true to form, it worked brilliantly.

showing it off in my own yarny space

showing it off in my own yarny space

 

scrunchy, chunky flowers

scrunchy, chunky flowers

 

I still had plenty left so, using Ravelry.com to give me ideas about which patterns work well in chunky yarn, I began experimenting with swatches in different stitch patterns. Tamara Kelly of Mooglyblog uses some super interesting stitches and I am indebted to her for the leaping blocks and stripes design in my cushion cover. Combining texture with stripes is just such fun:-

love the effect of these spike stitches

love the effect of these spike stitches

 

coloured waves

coloured waves

 

retro spikes from mooglyblog

retro spikes

 

So, the cushion cover using the spike stitches began to take shape and because crochet in chunky yarn grows so amazingly fast it just seemed to appear!

spikey stripes at front

spikey stripes at front

 

half trebles at back

half trebles at back

 

texture of stitch

texture of stitch

These are not really my colours although it looks fine on the computer chair …….

Office chair

 

………. I wonder who will be the eventual recipient of this armful of chunky squashiness? I’ll certainly be trying one in another stitch pattern in my colours to keep at home.

Back again soon,

Jenny x

 

 

 

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Prawn to pebble and back again

Hello,

I can hardly believe that my blog has now had over 1,000 visits during its first year; a huge thank you to all of you who have looked at it and been so supportive.

All this prawn business seems to have come full circle now – first of all my daughter and I jointly wrote and published The Woolly Prawn in December 2012 after many hours spent designing, making and testing knitted prawns and the other bits and bobs ……

the book

the book

Then followed the introduction of the Woolly Prawn Kit in the summer of 2013 …..

the woolly prawn kit

the woolly prawn kit

…….  and in October last year when the crochet bug had really taken hold I developed the passion for crocheted pebbles which led to my blog. Now it’s back again to Woolly Prawn kits and keyrings ……

prawn keyrings

prawn keyrings

mini prawn keyrings

The return to prawn-making began in earnest when I was invited to share a stall at the Abbotts Bromley Girls’ School Christmas Bazaar. Helen and I will be selling our goodies together on Saturday, December 29th – do have a look at the wonderful handmade dolls and rabbits on her facebook page (Helen Lucia E) and if you live in the Abbotts Bromley area come along on Saturday morning.

So, over the last few weeks I have been preparing kits for the Christmas season with their mini-prawn keyrings –

Contents

Contents

ready to go!

ready to go!

you can check out the book and the kit on Etsy.com/shop/TheWoollyPrawn.

There will be crocheted pebbles on sale as well, of course, and I have been trying out some colours to brighten up my display.

Made for grandchildren and other small hands.

.

So, next week I really can concentrate on my Christmas projects – three weeks to complete ….. that’s scary! I hope you are all well ahead with your seasonal crafting. It is supposed to be relaxing and therapeutic after all!

Bye for now,

Jenny x