Monday, 23 January 2012

A New Little Project

I have a few projects on the go at the moment. Most of them need sewing up to finish, and I'm not in a sewing frame of mind.
So to keep me crocheting, a new little project.
Starting with 20 little circles.
All will be revealed soon.

Sunday, 22 January 2012

100 Flowers to Knit and Crochet

 I'm looking for another couple of nice flowers to make crochet brooches for my coats. I like this one below called "pelargonium" and I like the "ruffled rose", and I like the "tea rose".....
 ...and I love these little rosebuds...and the centifolia rose.
Ooh! I'm going to be busy, and need more coats :)

Saturday, 21 January 2012

Crochet Cushion Update

I gave the flowers to my mum - and she loved them, but as predicted, didn't care much for the yellow flowers. She has sewn up all the flowers and is a few short for the layout she is doing, so asked me to do some more.

Now that I have made quite a few of them, they only take about 10 minutes each to make.

Friday, 20 January 2012

Flower Blanket

I'm thinking of creating a one colour blanket. Most of the decor in my house is very pale, and whilst I love the multi-colour blankets, I'm wondering what a pale one would look like.

Here for inspiration, with added flowers, is a pale blanket from Cute and Easy Crochet:

Thursday, 19 January 2012

Cheering up a Winter Coat

These little flowers are quite easy to make. Once you have got the hang of it, they are quite addictive.

The way I have sewn this one up is reminiscent of those big huge overblown summer roses. Strange colour for a rose though :) I just wanted something to match this green tweedy coat.

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Choosing a Lining for a Crochet Bag

It is always necessary to line a crochet bag to be used for shopping or books. If you put something heavier than a lettuce in a bag like this then the handles will stretch. Before you know it, the straps will be on your shoulder and the bag will be knocking the backs of your knees.
So, to prevent this, and to make it look nicer inside, then line it.

Sounds easy, and it is, but the difficult part for me is choosing an appropriate lining. This was the first one I thought of: a delicious ice cream parlour pink polka dot. Almost tempted to use it, but there is barely enough fabric, and I want to use it for something else.
So here's my second choice. Although this matches one of the blues in the bag, and the fabric is a great colour, it is just too blue for the white background of the bag.

Here is the bonkers option. I love this tartan fabric, and bizarrely it goes quite well in a competing clashing way. However, the fabric is 100% wool and a bit stretchy so alas it will not solve my bag knocking knees problem.
So rather boringly, here is what I have decided upon. A piece of blackout blind cotton. It is soft, completely opaque and quite strong without being heavy. Exactly what I need.

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Inspirational Interiors with Crochet

I've been interested in interiors for ever it seems, and regardless of what is in fashion, the same favorite themes keep popping up over the years. I love pale blue, the colour of sky, like the colour in the photograph above.
I also like pale rooms, pale walls, pale painted furniture, white, grey, cream. The details change a little with fashion, but the basics are the same.
And roses. Now I'm well aware that rose perfume can be a little bit too granny and not enough chic, but I don't care. For me, nothing can beat a big rose perfumed bubble bath - it's a shame I don't have room for a bath in my current tiny bathroom - showers only for me at the moment.
Finally, I love old brass and iron bedsteads, especially in this design, and especially when they are painted.
But most of all I love a crochet blanket. Who could resist sleeping in the bed shown above?

All photographs in this post are from the book shown in the first photograph. Now, I bought this book specifically because it had a crochet blanket on the front cover, and was terribly disappointed to find that the same photo inside the book had been cropped and had lost the blanket. However, this was more than made up for by the other photos in the book.

Monday, 16 January 2012

Crochet Flowers Cushion

The little crochet flowers are ready to be sewn up and into a cushion. Here is the first version, all pinks and purples, with white.
 I thought that this was too much of a restricted colour scheme so I added yellow, but I prefer the version without yellow.

It's over to my mum now to sew them up and make the cushion, so we'll see which version she prefers.

Sunday, 15 January 2012

More Utility Crochet

Now, I must warn you, not everyone likes this idea. :)

Mr Prim can't stop laughing when he sees me making these. It is a step too far for him. You're not crocheting Brillo pads again are you, he says, laughing uncontrollably.

For those not in the UK, "Brillo" is a brand name for little wire wool soap filled scouring pads used for dish-washing, particularly for getting the difficult burnt on food off metal grill pans etc.

If you crochet little rounds of natural gardening twine (which feels quite rough to touch), then it makes acceptable little scouring pads.

I prefer to use these, because using steel wool pads and throwing them away after one use, or possibly two, is too extravagant for me. These are cheap as chips and you can launder them if you want to use them more than once.

You will notice that I have just cut the ends, and not sewn them in. I tie a tight knot and then cut. They don't unravel, but if they do, then it doesn't really matter, since you are probably using them only once or twice.

Back tomorrow with prettier crochet :)

Saturday, 14 January 2012

Utility Crochet

These cotton crocheted squares, about 20 cm square, are useful as both face cloths, and as general cloths in the kitchen. I colour code them so that the kids don't wash their face with a kitchen cloth. I have some I made about a year or so ago, and they are barely showing signs of wear. They shrink a tiny little amount when they are tumble dried but they loosen up again as they are used.  I have crocheted similar ones in various stitches, mostly treble stitch, and half treble. These are the first of this pattern, so I will see how these ones work. I prefer to use these to disposable kitchen cloths.
These silver ones are a bit of an experiment. They are not cotton, but a synthetic mixture, and are quite shiny. These will not work as wash cloths. I'm hoping that they will be good polishing cloths for mirrors.

Friday, 13 January 2012

More Uses for Crochet Flowers

More Cute and Easy Crochet flowers. I love these, but with a toddler in the house, I don't think that they would stay attached to the curtains for long. They would become an accessory for a fairy or a princess and be dragged around the house.

Not being a tea drinker, I just don't get teapot cosies. I could see this as a spectacular Easter Bonnet though, although on second thoughts....
I think a single flower to brighten up my winter coat :)

Thursday, 12 January 2012

Starting the little crochet flowers

Here is the flower I have chosen for my Little Crochet Cushion:

And here is my version of it. I reckon I need to make 36.

I'm on number 6, only another 30 to go !

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Boden Crochet Cardigan

Sometimes you find crochet in unlikely places. Browsing the latest Boden 2012 Spring catalogue which popped through my door, what do I find on page 8 but "Hand Crochet Jacket", available in 3 lovely colours.

Ooh I think, got to get one of those, but then I look at the price: £99. Well, maybe not. I do have a habit of shrinking clothes in the tumble drier.

However, thinking about it again, it would probably take between 10-15 balls to crochet this, at say £5 a ball, so it is not seeming such bad value after all.

And it looks quite reasonable in style, almost like a Chanel inspired jacket. I'm not at all sure about crochet garments generally since I think they look a bit too hippy for my wardrobe, but this one looks quite smart.

We'll see. I'm not exactly rushing to part with £99 for it.

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Little Flowers Crochet Cushion

My mum clipped this picture of a little cushion made from flowers. She asked me if I could crochet the little flowers for it.

I like little projects like this. It should take only a night or so to crochet the flowers. The boring part for me is sewing in the ends and sewing it together, but my mum says that she is happy to do that.

She asked for pinks and reds, so here is the initial choice. This will be too restricted a palette so once I have done a couple of flowers of each, I'll lay them out and then decide what other colours are needed.

The only problem is that it is behind the 200 Flowers and the crochet bag in the crochet queue.

Monday, 9 January 2012

More Crochet Inspiration - Pale Blanket

I'm still continuing with my post a day about crochet, but I don't have much to show you today from my own crochet: first full week back at work, kids back to school, one of them sitting exams, husband away to Europe on business - it has all gone a bit mad here :) So, here, for inspiration,  is a pale blanket, also from the fleamarket style book.

Now, I'm not at all sure about whether I would have the patience to do a whole blanket, all in the same colour. I think that this looks very nice, and it would match well with the pale creams and greys colour scheme in my bedroom, but I think on balance I prefer colourful blankets. For me, a lot of the enjoyment in crochet is the colour interaction, in choosing contrasting colours sometimes, nice complementary colours other times, or wild clashing colours.

On balance, I think I'll pass on this one for the moment.

Still continuing to crochet together the 100 Flowers - I'm up to 120 flowers joined together, with another 80 to sew on. Not much to show you in pictures yet.

Sunday, 8 January 2012

Crochet Inspiration

Here is a crochet blanket from the home of Petra Boase in Norfolk. It is featured in the book "flea market style".
What I like about this blanket is the fact that the colour used to join the squares (white) is also used in the squares. This is something I have never done. I'm going to try this in my next blanket. It makes some of the squares look smaller than the others, and I like that effect.
Another thing I like about this blanket is the wide plain border around the coloured squares. I think that highlights the colour well. I might do that in my flowers blanket if I have enough white wool left.

Saturday, 7 January 2012

Library Bag

I've finished the crocheting, and the sewing up of the seams.
Now I need to sew in the lining and sew on the handles.

Friday, 6 January 2012

Joining Blocks : Two Different Seams

 I've used two different seams for the library bag. In both, you hold two blocks together, and double crochet through the edges of both blocks, crocheting them together to create a seam. The difference is in which sides you hold together as you crochet. In the one above, you put one block on top of another, with right sides together, and then crochet them together. This gives a nice flat seam on the right side.
 So, the other way is to put the 2 blocks together, wrong sides together, and double crochet the seam. Then you get a raised seam on the right side as in the picture above, and those below.

This makes a nice outline to the seam, to highlight the edges of the bag.

Thursday, 5 January 2012

Missing Bruges

For three years in a row, we went to Bruges, sometimes more than once a year. One year, we spent over a month there. It is a very picturesque historic town, but best of all, the centre of town is small, and you can walk or cycle around.

Here's a picture of a small fleamarket selling mostly household small goods, pottery, brass items and little pictures. Not really my kind of thing, but still interesting to look at.

Best of all, Bruges has several excellent wool shops. Hmmm....I can feel a wee trip coming on.

Back to crochet tomorrow when I find the USB cable for my camera. Sigh! I am so disorganised.

Wednesday, 4 January 2012

Granny Bag

A new little project to take me away from the 200 Flowers for a few days. Here is a granny bag from the Cute and Easy Crochet book.

I am a big fan of my local library but I'm not so good at remembering to take my books back on time. I don't hide shopping or shoes or anything from Mr Prim, but if he knew how much I spend in a year on library fines... :)

To encourage me to take my books back, I'm making a new library bag to hang on a peg beside my front door. Like the bag here in the book, I'm going to line my bag in fabric. Hopefully, this this will ensure that it doesn't stretch to a metre long when I put my books in.

Will show you my version soon.

Tuesday, 3 January 2012

Granny Permutations

One of the things I like about crochet is the choice of colours. With this blanket I used 17 colours. So for each little flower using 3 choices of colour, the number of permutations is (if I remember my maths correctly) : 17*16*15 = 4080 choices. The problem is that some of these are not pretty, so for example, dark purple, dark blue, mid blue is very dark, and then all 3 palest pinks is too pale. The challenge comes in choosing "nice" choices. Sometimes, I like to make them a bit edgy and clashing, like the blue-orange-blue in the bottom middle of the blue picture. Other times I try for "nice" with for example the blue-pale lilac - lilac in the bottom right of the blue picture.
Another interesting thing is that some people don't like some combinations that I like. I think that adds to the interest of making the choices.

Happy crocheting!

Monday, 2 January 2012

Christmas Book : Cute and Easy Crochet

I got this new book for Christmas. Some of the items are a little bit mad, like the beautiful flowery teapot cosy, but they are done in such lovely colours you can't help like them.

Look at this lovely quilt, done in muted grey with pale pinks and lilacs. It does not look to be a complicated pattern, but the colours make it something special.

Here's another mad idea - a knitted pavlova. It looks good but I'm not sure I have room in my life for a knitted pavlova.
Photography in this book is very nice. Here are two teddies sitting on an old iron bed. Overall, there are more patterns in this book I would make than not make, which is good for a crochet book.

Sunday, 1 January 2012

Crochet 365 : A Post a Day 2012

Happy New Crochet Year.

Starting today, I'm planning to post every day in 2012. Hopefully I won't run out of words.

Here is an update on my latest project - the 100 Flowers in the Snow blanket. I decided that the 100 Flowers was too small, so I've been busy over Christmas crocheting the centres for another 100 flowers. Here they are laid out by colour. Colours in this picture are not so good in this light - it has been very dark in Edinburgh  today so I'll take some nice daylight pictures tomorrow if it is brighter.

 Wishing you a year of happy crocheting in 2012.