Friday, 18 June 2010

Almost Caught up...

Thank you to those of you who left comments and I was pleasantly surprised by how many of you liked the Wheat Ear runner in the #20's thread especially in today's climate of thinking by many that doilies are old fashioned.....

I have to admit I thoroughly enjoyed working with the #20's thread that I opted to do more...

On Ravelry there's a group just dedicated to the doilies, coasters etc designed by Patricia Kristoffersen of which there are many talented ladies... I was bought for Christmas (it was one book on my list for Christmas) Absolutely Gorgeous Doilies by PK so armed with my newly acquired 1.25mm Clover Soft Touch hook and one 20g ball of Coats Mercer #20 in Turkey Red (as most of you know not one of mt favourite colours) I set about working Pineapple Patch.

The patterns are well written and no errors (well that I found) although for a UK candidate whose just spent months working from charts I had a few false starts converting US to UK terms on the fly, however I got there in the end and produced my very 1st PK doily.

I thoroughly enjoyed this pattern and decided I would tackle another form the book. This time I chose the Windsor Round, I have no idea why as I have to admit it wasn't one of the favourites when I flicked through the book, but I have to say it's now one of my favourites after working it. Again one ball of Coats mercer #20 a 1.25mm hook (I have to admit to this thread and this size of hook are my favourite combination); and yet again no idea why but I chose a pink colour called Coral Pink???????????? again another colour I don't like really... perhaps I was subconsciously trying to get it out of my stash!!!

Anyway 9 days later I produced this:

I love the detail around the centre created by the long stitches worked backwards and forwards into stitches of previous rounds - something I'd not come across before.

I'm sad to say I've not had chance to get back to doing any doilies since then due to other crochet and knitting comments but as I'm on holiday this coming week I may 'treat myself' Mmmmmm....

One last thing about doilies before I move on.

Can anyone tell me how such a small item can use so many pins for blocking?

Doilies seem to use far more pins than lace knitting, although DH is pleased as he doesn't have to get involved in blocking these ;o)
After the doilies I did some knitting, yes I did say Knitting - although sorry no lace.

I started stocking some Noro yarns in the shop so I opted to knit a waistcoat (Design 26 from Noro: MIni Knits 2 by Jenny Watson) in Noro's Kureyon to display the yarns and pattern books.

Although the pattern is per the book I converted it into knitting the fronts and back in one piece up to the armholes, I also lengthened it for myself and didn't make the collar quite as wide as suggested. All in all I'm pleased with it but glad to say we've really not had suitable weather to wear it yet!

The other thing I tried with this pattern was the Japanese 3 Needle Bind Off blogged about by Another Long Yarn. I used this to join the front and back at the shoulder seams and it worked beautifully...

And finally the last item for this post - back to crocheting!

I'd been fascinated by Mabel by Sarah London so when she published the pattern I purchased it and proceeded to make one of my own. It's a well written pattern and quick to work up - 2 days it took me; in fact it took longer for the cushion pad to arrive than it did to crochet it.

Worked in Patons Diploma Gold DK - and as I didn't have enough to do both sides the same I did a 'Light & Dark Mabel'

I've actually found women prefer the light side and men prefer the darker side... me I just turn it over when I'm passing so I get the best of both sides!!!

Well that's it for now - I reckon one more 'catch-up' post in which I shall tell you about my interlude using yarns from Pierrot Yarns in Japan and entering their competition and that I think should see me pretty much up to date and blogging about things I'm either currently working on or have finished in the last week....

Wednesday, 2 June 2010

What littleberry did next.....

by my reckoning this post sort of takes me up to the end of January, but also includes a couple of projects that were done in March and April... and by the way I have found my crochet version of Swallowtail ;o)

OK deep breath... first up after all the crocheting for Christmas gifts was my Amijin Scarf (I'm assuming most of you reading my blog will be on Ravelry, if not give me a shout and I can point you in the right directions for pattern links). After all the gifts I'd made I decided it was something for me. I'd seen the pattern on Pierrot Yarns website and I fell in love with the colours they had used (they are not my normal choice of colours) so I ordered the yarn in the suggested colourways from Pierrot Yarns - English site. It was a quick and easy crochet pattern made all the more easier by being charted than written out - I find worded patterns are very hard to follow.... I 'get lost' in the words so to speak and keep loosing were I am up to and make mistakes.... now according to my Ravelry notes I had it done in 3 evenings so it must have been quick and easy ;o)

Mmm what was next??? Yes the Cabled Scarf (yes crocheted) for my friend Sharon aka Yarnimals birthday in early January. I found the Crochet Cable Scarf pattern on Ravelry, even if you don't use the forums or 'chat' much on Ravelry the pattern and yarn database is worth it's weight in gold. It was originally published in Crochet Today! Dec 2006 / Jan 2007 and is now available for free. I opted for DK weight and decided I'd try the newly launched (at the time) Patons (UK) Merino. This was a dream to work with, soft and squishy and bouncy and at £3.25 per 50g very reasonable. Thankfully Yarnimals was pleased with the gift :o)

Moving on towards the end of January now....My mum was 80 this January gone and you 've already seen the Swallowtail I did for her in hand spun, to be given to her at the SnB group. I also wanted to give her something personal from me that she would appreciate. So I decided that I would attempt to crochet a doily style runner for her in #20's crochet thread - eek!

I know I mentioned in an earlier post that my maternal grandmother was a superb crocheter especially of very fine work... so as my mum keeps things (not quite a hoarder) especially those of sentimental value (she was very close to her mum) I opted to go through her old patterns and of course her collection of thread inherited from her mother.

She'd already expressed an interest when I started crocheting about a runner for the top of the drawer unit in the conservatory in blue - so the project was an easy decision (that's half the battle for me, getting the right project for the person) and obviously the colour was an easy one too. I eventually found a pattern which  had first been published by Coats in 1965 and then reprinted in 1981 (so mum had obviously bought this one, as her mum died back in the early 1960's. It was the Motif Runner from the Wheat Ear Booklet. So armed with 5 balls of what I thought were the same colour and a 1.25mm hook off I went.

I decided I'd go for the main motifs in the main blue and then the filler motifs in a paler blue. I discovered while doing this project that while each ball may have the shade number in,, there is no dye lot on the ball; this is because the dye lot for the box comes on a slip of paper in the box.. it must have been a nightmare for shop keepers if they had boxes of different batches and one of my 5 balls was most definitely a different shade of blue. So in the end I had to shorten the runner by one motif and used the 5th ball to make the filler motifs.

and last but not least.... I decided to do something else for me.... I'd chosen a Japanese book from Mum as part of my Christmas present and it arrived a week before Christmas and as I'd already decided I had to crochet the Crescent Moon shawl, I ordered 2 balls of Noro Kureyon Sock in colour S188 (that lovely purple/green).

So as soon as Christmas was over I began :o) I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of this project :o) I used a 3.5mm hook for the body of the shawl and 2.5mm for the edging based on what one or two others had used. In the end I used approx 120g of yarn ( made myself a pair of socks with leftovers). Working from charts makes things so much easier IMHO, you can see what you're meant to be working towards, no transposing of US / UK terminology and you can see if you're on the right tracks! I was a little sad when this project was finished.

and socks with leftovers (although I still have a little left!) - yes I know they don't match fleegle!

I have to admit to loving this pattern and for me it has become to crochet what Swallowtail is to lace knitting for me :o) so needless to say I have done 2 more since January as gifts.... and again enjoyed working each one.

For my friend's daughter who was 16 in March I used Schoppel-Wolle Zauberball in colourway Café Flair

and then my best friend Janet was 40 on the 22nd April (same day as me) so what else do I make her ;o) I used Noro Kureyon sock in colourway S40

Now as I said more or less takes me up to the end of January and a little beyond... so hopefully next time we shall nearly be up to date!