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Tunisian … ta-dah!

Hello again,

It’s been ages since I wrote last – holidays, kitchen flooding and other bits and bobs have rather scuppered my writing of late. In the meantime, my IDC course has not been totally neglected: I was able to spend some time during our brilliant holiday in France on my third project – a household item worked in 2ply yarn/thread – but I’m getting ahead of myself …….

Before we went away I completed my second coursework project – a cushion cover in Tunisian crochet using Aran weight yarn with the addition of some fashion yarn …

flowers on the front

flowers on the front

 

striped back

striped back

 

buttons on back

buttons on back

 

flower in fashion yarn

flower in fashion yarn

Have to admit that I am surprisingly pleased with the result and I shall be sending the cushion off to my mentor this weekend and hoping for the best.

If you remember a while ago I attended a local workshop on Tunisian crochet before starting on the cushion cover. Quite coincidently, when we came back from France last week I noticed another workshop in Miju Wools, Gloucester; this time it is based on Broomstick crochet and that is indeed the technique which I have decided on for my fourth and final project.

I now have my latest crochet requirement, a single huge knitting needle purchased for 50p in a local Charity shop! I have to admit my initial attempts have been a bit clumsy! Maybe not surprising with an implement this large!

20mm needle and 4.00mm hook

20mm needle and 4.00mm hook

So, I’m off to embark on my latest new technique, armed with my “broomstick”. The stitch was originally worked with the handles of brooms …. can’t imagine how awkward that must have been!  I’ll let you know how it goes.

Happy crocheting!

Jenny x

 

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Tribute to Wink

Hello,

The worldwide crafting community of crocheters and crochet bloggers has been deeply shocked and saddened today to learn of the death of one of its most talented designers, Marinke Slump, aka Wink, to her blog followers.

I should like to pay tribute to Wink whose blog has given so many of us such pleasure and inspiration over the last couple of years: amongst many other designs her mandalas are so beautiful and only a few weeks ago some of my lovely crochet ladies were practising their crochet-in-the-round skills from Marinke’s patterns ……

mandala 1

mandala 2

I find it amazing that all around the world, through the Internet, we crafters can feel so in touch with others who share our passion and enthusiasm – I don’t think I’m alone in saying that we love to read about their projects and see their designs.

We know too of the huge benefits that craft can bring to those who are going through difficult times – sadly, crochet could not save Marinke from her severe depression although it had done once previously. Our hearts go out to her family and friends at this most difficult time.

There is already a project up and running as a memorial to Wink and her marvellously creative work – details can be found here. It will also serve to raise awareness of the devastating effects of depression.

I feel sure that Marinke will live on through her work which will continue to be an inspiration and that her designs will be greatly treasured. I for one will be looking to create a project from one of Wink’s patterns which, I believe, will still be available from her blog A Creative Being.

Summer

Take care all of you,

jenny x

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Easter’s here!

Happy Easter everybody!

After the strong winds of Monday night it is a miracle that not all the daffodils were blown down. It is calmer now and warmer – spring is definitely in the air.

Sunday will bring the joys of egg hunts and many little people searching for treasures.

Here are some of my special things: a little crochet, newly worked pebbles, spring flowers in a blue and white vase and festive decorated eggs ….. no  chocolate ones just yet!

a few of my favourite things

a few of my favourite things

……… can’t wait to update you on my latest projects and my new book of Japanese motifs – you can see a couple of them in this photo. I’ll tell you about those after the holiday. I’m looking forward to experimenting with some new crochet stitch patterns then too.

In the meantime I hope you all have a joyful Easter.

jenny x

 

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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

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Doilies rediscovered.

Hello,

Seventies style?

Seventies style?

Remember these? Early seventies … my first crochet lessons. It seems an age away – well, actually it is!

Today they seem a bit dated and yet …. suddenly those detailed motifs take on a new significance when placed over a stone or pebble. Perfect patterns providing hundreds of different designs. Look how varied the centres are. How exciting is that?

Now, back to that snowflake …

What a lovely surprise on Friday when a very good friend brought me a goodie bag full of fine crochet threads from her stash … really kind.

The new white thread is oh, so fine … I shall need good daylight to see these stitches.

Oh so tiny!

Oh so tiny

Luckily Monday afternoon was sunny so was able to complete my first snowflake. Here it is …

first snowflake of the winter

first snowflake of the winter

Now I just need to work out the best way to “frame” the motif on the pebble ..

That’s all for now,

Jenny x

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Crochet Stitches Untangled

What a great workshop on Sunday at The Wool Croft, Abergavenny. I can’t think of a better setting for a day of crochet … surrounded by such glorious yarns in the most inspiring colours. It was lovely to meet fellow crocheters and share some of the tips I have picked up over the last couple of years. Thanks to those who attended .. you all worked so hard and I loved the samples you produced. Good news for prawn enthusiasts in the Abergavenny area too : The Woolly Prawn kit is now available from The Wool Croft as well as the book. Not only does the kit include a copy of the book and all you need to make a prawn or two but a limited edition mini prawn keyring.

The Woolly Prawn kit

The Woolly Prawn kit

Now back to my pebbles … great excitement this morning when the postman delivered my crochet cottons.They look just as I had imagined for my cobble covers.

New cottons

These look better!

Can’t wait to get started now … I’m looking for some snowflake patterns.

Keep those needles and hooks active,

Jenny x