Wednesday, August 06, 2014

Crazy for Crochet

I have been really keen on crochet lately and have started , but not necessarily finished, quite a few projects. I haven't updated the blog for a while due to camera problems - now sorted! So here are a few of my latest creations...

I found this design when searching Japanese crochet sites for free patterns and general inspiration.  It is just a simple mesh shawl with a pretty border which includes dangling leaves and little balls.  A lot of the Japanese shawl and scarf designs feature really interesting borders and I am a big fan of these designs.  I love the way they can make the simplest piece of fabric into a spectacular masterpiece. I wouldn't call this one a masterpiece but it was enjoyable and quick to crochet.  I used most of a skein of Madeleine Tosh Merino Light that I purchased at Loop last year.  It is a beautiful soft yarn and the colours are slightly tonal, which I absolutely love.
Drops have had a truly amazing sale this Summer with 35% off their cotton yarns, so obviously I had to take advantage of that. I love Drops! The yarns are amazing quality, come in a huge range of gorgeous colours and are incredibly reasonably priced. Their massive collection of free patterns is pretty good too. I found this cute little bag pattern in Issue 55 of Inside Crochet -  it is the Boogie Bag by Jane Crow.

  In the magazine it was hooked from Rowan Cotton Glace which can cost around £5 for a ball but I made it from Drops Cotton Light which cost me 90p a ball. I have enough yarn left over from this project to make another bag, so that is a real bargain.
The piece of crochet with which I am most pleased is the Arianna cardigan wrap. It is a brilliant pattern by Vicky Chan - available, of course, through Ravelry. The genius of this design is in it's very simple shape that when worn drapes beautifully and looks far more complicated than it is. The garment is incredibly versatile and can be worn either way up for different looks.

I used a cone of cotton/acrylic 4 ply from Yeoman Yarns for this version.  It is a very economical but good quality yarn which I greatly recommend. The 2000m cone easily completed the garment with some to spare and had the added advantage of no joins or ends to sew in. I like the finished item so very much that I have started another in gorgeous green Araucania sock yarn (another sale purchase) and can't wait to see how it turns out. The wool should be a little lighter than the cotton.

I have been doing a little knitting too.  Here is the proof...

Sirdar Click Chunky at 49p a ball is hard to resist - so I didn't.  Kemps Wools often come up with incredible bargains on discontinued yarns and colourways and it is well worth checking out their discount section on a regular basis.  The pattern was a Sirdar design from a recent edition of Knitting magazine. It knitted up in a few days and is very warm and wearable.
Acrylic yarn seems to be much softer and better quality these days and I am almost won over by it.  The colours of this Stylecraft Merry-go-Round were enough to tempt me. This simple , fun, rainbow shawl is incredibly quick to crochet and the pattern is easy to memorise.  I have worked up most of this on recent train journeys and at concerts where I don't want to concentrate on a complicated pattern. 

Lastly, a quick fun project that I made from Poundland acrylic dk doubled up to make chunky weight.  I used the Mama Capybara pattern from "Huge and Huggable Mochimochi" by Anna Hrachovec.  It is a wonderful book packed with fun toy and accessory designs which easy to knit and definitely live up to the promise of being huggable.  I made this giant guinea pig (ok, so he is really a capybara) for a friend at work who fosters a lot of the little guys for an animal welfare organisation as it tries to find permanent homes for them.  Hope she has room for this little one!