Wednesday, 25 August 2010

Thread & Thread alike...

Since my last post I have been working a lot with thread (not exclusively) for crocheting... I enjoy the 'popping' it makes over the tiny Clover Soft Touch crochet hook... sad I know but none the less we all have our little quirks...

I was introduced (by Ravelry, where else) to the designs of a lady called Patricia Kristoffersen (PK is often how she's referred to) via the group 'PK Doilies'. I have since collected several, OK well the majority of her booklets with her designs apart from 'Wonderful Doilies' (ASN 1277) & 'Elegant Coasters (LA 2923) and am on a mission to find reasonably priced copies of these.... anyway rather than wax lyrical about the designs it's just easier to give you a photo heavy post of some of her designs I've worked recently and I'll let you make your mind up about her designs... However, I must warn you the photos may not show up her clever use of surface stitches such as post stitches which feature heavily in her work...

From her book - 'Coasters by the Dozen' (LA 3081) all worked in Coats Puppets 'Eldorado' Tkt 10 with a 1.5mm hook

From 'The Big Book of Little Doilies' (LA 2874)

From 'Doilies with Charm' (LA 3161) - Spellbinding worked with Coats Mercer Crochet #20 and .25mm hook

From 'Absolutely Gorgeous Doilies' (LA 2879) - Sunflower Bloom worked with Coats Mercer Crochet #20 and 1.25mm hook

From 'Coffee 'n' Cream' (LA 3073) - Café Latte worked in Coats Freccia #16 and 1.25mm hook

Now for a little of my own engineering - reverse that is ;o) This mat below (cream) has sat on my dressing table for years along with it's partner and the traditional larger centre mat. It was made by maternal grandmother pre 1966 (that's when she died) so I have no idea how old it is. Anyway just for the hell of it a few weeks back a random thought just wandered across my mind  (as they do) if I could possibly reverse engineer a piece of crochet (only simple) - I'd heard other people talking about it and I just thought can I do it?

I grabbed the nearest and only thing in the house I could 'copy' - the above mat and the nearest thread that was hanging around - hence why it's pink when I can hear you saying 'Ann doesn't do pink!' and my hook. I came up with the mat below. I have to say I am more than a little pleased with myself :o)))) I wrote down the instructions I worked as I went along and at some point I will write them up and work the larger mat which starts off the same then changes to form a much more decorative centre piece, but it won't be in pink!

Next up was a free pattern from Coats Crafts UK -  A Round Doily I used the stated thread but decided to have a go with multiple colours after seeing the work by the talented TheShrone on Ravelry. Am fairly pleased with the results and am just in the process of looking for a frame to mount it as a picture!

Nearly at the end of the post and I hope I'm not boring you. After I did a runner for my mum's 80th earlier this year, she asked if i would do her one to go on her dining room table - so we chose the Queen Anne Motif and two colours of Coats Mercer #20 from my stash Buttercup (it's more buttermilk) and a rather nice brown which we shall say is called Chocolate Brown otherwise if I give it it's correct name from the 1950's/ 60's I'll be up for politically incorrect remarks.

Here's the resulting runner (3 x 8 motifs) with close up below. I like it and looks great in-situ (no not on my carpet on he dining room table) but I am never doing it again! it was tedious and boring to say the least and the motifs could be easily memorized within completing one or two of them - no challenge to say the least! The up side is that each of the large motifs was easily completed within 1 hour - so as the Dr would recommend 'take one a day', I did one motif a day... the border was not much better and broken down into two sessions there's about 5 - 6 hours crocheting just of the scalloped edges but the runner is a respectable 13 x 39"

and finally last but no means least as they say - something I put together myself after working a pansy to work out how they were constructed so I could repair one on one of my grandmother's mats (she liked pansies) and yes it was repaired using the original thread too!

I had this pansy floating around so I made a few more, made some other little flowers, worked a few leaves and added a splash of colour with some non-de-script filler flowers and came up with this....

and a close up for detail...

I now have a crochet decorated project tote :o) all the threads are coats mercer #20 from my stash and are older than me ;o)

Next post we'll move onto something a little chunkier and bigger

Saturday, 7 August 2010

Pierrot Yarns

I can't believe it's well over a month since I posted last - time certainly flies as you get older...

As promised in my last post I said I was nearly caught up and that's more or less true, after this post the items I have to show have been completed relatively recently as opposed to last year or several months ago...

I came across a Japanese yarn company via Ravelry called Pierrot Yarns who have started to create a English based website for their western readers as well as their well established Japanese one.... so over 2 or 3  orders I purchased several different yarns. This company doesn't sell patterns but instead have all their pattern online free to download - and there's quite a lot I can tell you as well as good variety. However, they're all in chart form whether knitting or crocheting, which I have to say I much prefer to written word anyway. Most of the  patterns have been added to Ravlery so you can see the suggested yarns for the project etc... and should you need guidelines for following Japanese Patterns Linda aka Dancingbarefoot did a very good job.....

Anyway I can hear you crying out for photos - I'm not going to list loads of photos of my stash you can always go route through my stash on Ravelry if you want to see what I purchased ;o) which by the way Pierrot Yarns are offering a 'flat rate postage service' after their summer holidays of $10 EMS postage to anywhere in the world (that accepts EMS) for any orders over Y5000. I have to say it's a very good deal.... and their service is exceptional.

Anyway I digress... I decided I'd show you 3 items all made with Pierrot yarns which I entered in their first competition and proud to say I got a 3rd prize with my African Flowers Blanket.

So the first Item I completed in Teori Wool is my lacy motif shawl. Made up of motifs and joined together it's from a Japanese book Crochet Winter Motif

here's a single motif:

and the finished object

Next I used Pierrot's Soft Merino Fingering yarn to construct myself a lapghan / throw using the freely available motif 'African Flowers' which now has several variations to it as people have interpreted the motif in their own way - me included. I constructed a join-as-you-go method for mine then there was no tedious sewing together ;o)

My 3rd entry as I was running close to the deadline was a small purse which could be used to put cosmetics in or needlework tools. This was my own design.... I used Pierrot's Cotton Lace No 20

and I think that's more or less it for catch up... next post should be more recently completed items and wip's....