Crochethook's Blog

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Companions January 31, 2010

Filed under: Completed projects — crochethook @ 12:39 pm
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Despite all my good intentions of blogging on a regular basis, sickness and a lack of camera put the kybosh on my plans.  The sickness is over now but I have yet to sort out the camera issue so I am relying on the good offices of Mr Crochethook’s iPhone for the post this morning.

If you have stumbled here from my twitter feed, you may be aware that we share our house with two small fellows called Mr Grasshead and the Floppy Monkey.  They were quiet chaps when they arrived about 7 years ago but they seem to have somewhat eclipsed us in the last few years.  Mr Grasshead recently had a shout-out on national radio and Monkey has more twitter followers than me.  They are also insidiously charming and generally entice us into doing just what they want.

I have experimented on and off with amigurumi since I started crocheting but have sadly given most of them away without taking a picture first.  I love that such a simple spiral of double crochets can allow you such flexibility and that the projects are so quick to complete.  Once I had got the basic technique sorted out, I had a request from Mr Grasshead for an amigurumi version of his handsome figure.  As he is such a straight-forward shape, he was fairly easy to recreate in yarn.  After making the basic cylinder shape and stuffing it, I added his grassy hair by making  a small, flat circle of crochet with strands of green yarn pulled through and trimmed so they stayed spiky. His nose is just a tiny round of double crochets sewn on before stuffing.

Mr Grasshead would also like to draw your attention to his Cloud Appreciation badge for the sake of swanking.

Last night on TV Burp Harry Hill announced the opening of The K Factor which Monkey got very excited about.  I think he sees this as his chance to get on national, prime-time TV and he begged me to submit an entry.  The rules don’t say that crochet is banned but they don’t say it is allowed either so, on the off-chance I will get away with it, I hooked up a Monkey chosen pattern last night and emailed him in.  May I introduce Mr Banana…

And Mr Banana meeting his biggest fan…

Mr Banana is a slightly modified version of this pattern – I moved his peel around and made him a little larger so he would photograph better – but this is a great pattern for any amigurumi beginners out there.  He is made in one piece so there is no fiddly sewing small parts together and the increases and decreases are minimal.  I hope he does well in the competition or I fear Monkey will insist I make something more ambitious to send in next week.

 

Something Less Geeky January 13, 2010

Filed under: Completed projects — crochethook @ 10:22 am
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There must be something in the water where I work. Over the last six years there has been a baby a year born in the department. Five of these six women had all sat in the same office chair around the time they conceived and we did debate flying in the face of science and marketing it as a fertility aid. Just to be on the safe side, I refuse to sit in at all.

The great thing about all this fecundity is the chance it has given me to try out some of the millions of baby patterns to be found on the web. When I was crochet newbie I stumbled across this brilliant pattern on Crochetnmore.com.  At the time it was beyond my capabilities but when the sixth pregnancy was announced last year I decided to have a crack at it.

I made some changes as I knew the colour scheme of the nursery and wanted to make something that would fit in with the room.  Rather than working the chart in one piece, I broke the letters down into squares worked in white, cream and a very pale lemon yellow and omitted the bobble border.  This made the pattern more portable and meant there was far less to unpick and re-stitch in the (inevitable) event of me managing to miscount.  I added in a diamond shape made of bobbles into each corner square as I felt it made the pattern look more balanced.  Finally, I finished it with a plain double crochet border.

The blanket took around a month to complete.  I did a lot of ripping and restitching.  I know I shouldn’t crochet after a glass of wine but it always seems like a good idea at the time.  I was really pleased with the final result.  I don’t really do pretty as a rule but the occasional dip into the world of cuteness can be rewarding.

 

Oh, My Poor Heartses! January 10, 2010

Filed under: Work in Progress — crochethook @ 4:39 pm
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I was going to hang back from posting too much geeky crochet at first but pressure from other members of the household has dictated that the second project I share with the public is even geekier than The Knitted Character.

Prepare yourselves for a sad tale.  As a young boy, Mr Crochethook became a devotee of the comic 2000AD, a love which continues to this day.  In one of his mother’s magazines was an advert for a pattern to sew a Gronk and he pestered his Mum into sending off  so he too could have a Gronk of his own in case of unforseen medical emergencies.  Sadly the Gronk was never actually made and so Mr Crochethook was forced to live a Gronkless existence.  As a soft-hearted girlfriend, I had managed to get hold of the pattern a few years ago but sewing is not one my skills so I had to abandon the idea of making one for Mr Crochethook’s Christmas present.  As a new crocheter, however, I got uppish last year and decided that maybe I should have a stab at hooking one instead.  For those of you who are unfamiliar with the Gronk, he is a strange looking fellow and opinion seems to be divided on even the basic facts.  Even now I’m not sure what colour he really is.  I found a few images on the web but ended working mostly from the ones on this page and with the colours I had to hand.

Presenting the Gronk

He was a very early project and has a lot of faults – mostly concentrated on his strangely shaped posterior!  I didn’t have a pattern and basically made him up as I went along.  That’s beginner’s bravado for you though and the strangeness of the creature doesn’t help.  He did, however, satisfy Mr Crochethook’s thwarted childhood longings.

I mentioned yesterday that I was stash-busting as it is the only New Year’s resolution I am ever likely to keep.  Here is a small part of the yarn collection I need to tame.

Never leave me unattended in the wool shop.

I always seem to over estimate how much yarn I will need for any given project.  Add this to an inclination to buy just one more ball to be on the safe side and you end up with a slow invasion of the flat by plastic bags bulging with yarn.  As you can see, I am not a yarn snob – the whole pile is 98% acrylic but I love the colours so see no reason to feel ashamed of using the stuff.  To get it all under control I am creating a full-on retro granny square throw for the sofa. As the picture above shows, it is an ugly, ugly sofa so covering it up is all to the good.  I love a good granny square as it makes for nice mindless crochet while reading or watching the TV with no real need to look at what your hands are doing.  Due to the snow I have made great progress over the last few days and hopefully it won’t be too many weeks before I can post the final result.

 

New Year, New Blog January 9, 2010

Filed under: Completed projects — crochethook @ 10:34 pm
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Have started 2010 by deciding to finally blog about my growing crochet mania.  That and starting on some serious stash-busting but that is a whole post in itself.   I started crocheting just over two years ago, having given up all hope of ever mastering the strange and mysterious art of knitting.  I started with Stitch ‘n’ Bitch Crochet – The Happy Hooker and just got it.  In one afternoon I could crochet which was a revelation and has proved to be a delight.  I rarely move now without hooks and yarn.  I crochet while on the bus, while reading, while watching TV – unless Doctor Who is on.  I have to give that my undivided attention.

I plan to use this blog as a place to display the fruits of my labour.  As I have a couple of year’s worth of stuff to blog about, I imagine the posts will come thick and fast at first.  It all might slow down a bit once I am down to works in progress.  Anyway, to start off I am posting the project I am proudest of to date – a “Knitted Character” from Harry Hill’s TV Burp created at first for my brother and then again for a friend who really wanted one.   The Knitted Character is sadly misnamed as he is clearly crocheted but who am I to argue with Mr Hill’s comedic genius?  I used a monkey pattern from Mr Funky’s Super Crochet Wonderful and added a small circle of crochet for the muzzle. The ears I just made up as I went along.

Version one took me a weekend to produce and I didn’t do a great job on the mouth but my brother loves him.

Version One: Great ears, not so good on the facial embroidery

Version two was much quicker and I finished him in few hours.  He had a better mouth but I was less happy with the ears.  Aural deformity aside, he was warmly received in his new home by which point I was so sick of the pattern I never did make one for myself.

Version Two: Bad ears