Friday, 9 June 2017

Tunisian crochet beginnings

I saw a blanket created by Poppyandbliss  last year and loved it but didn't know how to do Tunisian crochet and also didn't want to learn. A couple of weeks ago I decided to try a new technique and bought the pattern for the sunset blanket. What appealed about this pattern is that you don't need to use a long Tunisian hook as there are only a small amount of stitches on the hook. I'm using a 4.5mm hook with dk yarn from my stash.

 

Tunisian simple stitch is just that, simple. I like the fabric it creates and combining colours creates new hues out of old stash. It's keeping me amused at the moment and I'm looking forward to the rustic style patchwork blanket that will result. I really struggled to comprehend the pattern instructions for the joining technique and had to abandon my first sample; making it into a plant pot cover.

 
After alot of research I fashioned my own join technique that consists of using only the bottom bar of the V stitch. This creates a flat seam and an extra bar which adds to the flow of the fabric.

 

YouTube is the place to go to learn Tunisian crochet. I am left handed so needed a bit of extra help. Simply crochet magazine also have tutorials on this technique on their website.


Monday, 5 June 2017

Krakow

Since my last post we have been to Krakow, Poland. It's our second visit there in five months and both times we have visited Auschwitz Birkenhau. We also visited the Jewish Quarter and found that the chairs in the ghetto square have been yarn bombed in recent weeks. The guides and locals do not know anything about why the chairs were yarn bombed.


This trip has left me in a reflective mindset about mankind and how I live my life if I am honest. We each have within us the ability to create a spark of light in someone's day. Kindness is free. 

 


Thursday, 4 May 2017

CALs

I must say it has been a joy catching up with some of the lovely souls who have found my blog. Thank you for your messages, I appreciate each of you.

Today I thought I would look back at some projects I've made during my hiatus. Over the last few years I have taken part in a few CALs to improve my crochet skills and I have really enjoyed being part of a creative Facebook community making the same project. Just receiving part of the pattern each week makes the process less daunting and it forces me to take my time and savour the process.

I like using my Mandala Madness blanket in the shed; the colours were inspired by the changing colours in the garden from about April to September last year. Colour wise it is one of the strangest colour schemes I have ever used, but very suited to its outdoorsy life. It's made with Stylecraft and a 3.5 mm hook so it's smaller than suggested by the designer. Very similar to Sophies Universe in many ways.



There are mistakes galore in this blanket but that just makes it unique. Counting stitches does make life easier and I didn't always do that with this project. I was never really at peace with this blanket as the colours didn't sing to me. It is growing on me slowly. 

Currently I am supposedly taking part in the Hygge CAL but my enthusiasm has waned. I hope I can get back in the groove with this project as it would look good as a wall hanging on the back of the bathroom door. A friend recently told me I have "good special awareness ", which I think translates as I use every nook and cranny in the house to display my crafts and treasures.

 

Like many others I had a go at Sophies Universe, although I was late to the party. I made it in one month and did housework and went to work! I combined it with various other patterns to make a blanket for our bed. The blanket is so big I haven't got a picture of it all; it is the warmest blanket ever and I haven't needed a hot water bottle all winter! It really is a work of art and I have really enjoyed looking at it whilst lying in bed. There's only me and you dear reader who knows exactly what effort goes into something like this.; non crafters just don't get it.

 

 
 

I incorporated some of Zootyowl's Seaside Winter cal blocks in the bed blanket.

 
 

The first cal I did was Stylecraft Lily Pond by Jane Crowfoot. I must say I gave this blanket to my sister in law and regret this ever so slightly. It's important to share the crochet love though. The CALs and the Vanessa Mooncie animal heads have helped me develop my skills and they have taken me out of my comfort zone.

 

I'm not aware of any CALs this year, so I might do Sophies Universe again or maybe Stylecraft 2016 cal Frida's Flowers. I found a Kilim rug at a charity shop last year and it fit perfectly in the summer house/shed. The colours go in the shed although they are not necessarily colours I would choose, but I think a blanket to compliment the rug would be good. Currently I am making a cushion cover.

 

I haven't quite got my blogging groove back, but fingers crossed! Enjoy your week...




 

Sunday, 30 April 2017

A year in the shed...

I wanted to start a new blog and when I started researching this, realised I could not be bothered starting from scratch. So I found this abandoned blog and dusted it off. I like the dandelion banner, it seems appropriate somehow to how I feel. When I chose the name for this blog - based on my grandma and nannas names - I did not realise that there is a porn star with the same moniker and this used to bug me somewhat. That's life and I've since let it go! 

This blog is about seven years old and when I started it I didn't think anyone would find it and that suited me just fine. Nothing has changed in this respect. I don't know when I stopped blogging, but it must be about three years ago. It all got a bit ugly for my liking; catty comments, people using my photos as their own, even a pattern ending up in a magazine under someone else's name. Too much negativity for my liking and I must say I have not missed being a part of it all. Of course there were plenty of wonderful souls who crossed my blogging path but the darker side filled me with despair if I'm honest. I do miss the enthusiasm I had for taking photos though and would like this to come back. In the last few years I rarely take photos and never take a camera out with me on my travels. On a subconscious level I hope dusting off the blog will reignite a passion for photography.

Over the last few years there have been moments when I've thought "Oh I really must share this" but the feeling is fleeting. Instagram has never really floated my boat and whilst I have an account, I struggle to communicate on it. Maybe I'm a diarist at heart. There are only one or two blogs that I read nowadays and the authors of these are losing their enthusiasm and moving with the times over to Facebook and Instagram. Blogging has become a commercial endeavour for many and that's ok, but a lot of charm has fallen by the wayside.

As I sit here I'm not sure what I want to share on my blog, I've changed immensely in recent years. I still craft on a daily basis and find this to be healing on many levels. I'm now a lady with a shed; my husband says "cabin" sounds better. It really is a tranquil space and visitors say it has a good energy. My money gets spent on the garden these days and my nickname is quite probably "plant lady". Many people tell me I have green fingers and this leaves me bemused as I don't see that in myself. The porch (which acts as my greenhouse) is currently full of sunflower seedlings and I intend to gift many to visitors over the coming month or two. There is something so uplifting about watching sunflowers grow and bloom; they always face the sun and let the shadows fall behind them. A lesson we all need to remember.

 

The past year has been the year of crochet taxidermy and I must confess to being very impressed with myself for tackling these projects. I'm not normally one for following complex patterns.

 

Granted the sausage dog isn't crochet taxidermy but I needed to fill up the grid. Some are gifts and no longer reside with me! 

 

Life is full of blessings and maybe I am ready to start recording some of life's delights here?