Crochethook's Blog

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Unseasonal crochet March 26, 2011

Filed under: Completed projects,Review — crochethook @ 11:53 am
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I was away last week at a conference but there was an hour spare on the first day which gave me chance to rootle around in a new wool shop.  I ended up coming away with three balls of King Cole Riot in three different shades. For once, this wasn’t a knee-jerk reaction to wool lust as I actually had a project in mind when I handed my money over at the till.  (OK.  There was a bit of wool lust as well but it’s a step forward for me.)

Issue 16 of Inside Crochet featured the Rapunzel scarf by Hilda Panagary which she had made in Noro yarn.

As there is still no proper website for the magazine, you will have to make do with my quick snapshot

The pattern is essentially three granny row strips made in three different shades and plaited together.  A really simple idea but not one that had occurred to me or one that I have seen anyone else use.  As much as I liked it, I wasn’t prepared to use Noro yarn for the project as, although it is lovely, it is rather pricey for something as ephemeral as a scarf.  I had been keeping an eye out for a cheaper alternative and was delighted when I found the King Cole yarn.  It was cheap enough and, more importantly, attractive enough for me to feel justified in making another scarf.

It took me exactly a week to complete the strips using a 5mm hook.  I love working with variegated yarn because I find the colour changes keep me interested so I put in some long sessions last weekend.  It was a quick job to plait them and crochet the extreme ends together.  The method is so easy that it would make a great project for a beginner.

The completed project

I did make a few changes to the pattern as I went along.  I made the strips much longer as I don’t like a scarf that leaves short ends when wrapped around my neck.  It’s not Tom Baker length but it is roomy.  I also added a row of double crochet to the ends when I has sewn them together just to make it look tidy.

The extra row doesn't really show but does give it a more finished look.

This addition wouldn’t have been needed if my rows into the starting chains has been a neater but I have never really managed to crack the technique.  As my strips were so much longer, I also plaited tighter them tighter than the original to make the structure a bit firmer.  Too loose and I think they would have kept catching on things.

The King Cole colours were delightful so I thought I would finish with a couple more close up shots to illustrate them. It’s an easy yarn to work with feels very soft despite being an acrylic/wool mix.  I would definitely use it again.

I even like the pink and I don't do pink as a rule.

It is the greens and blues that really make it for me. Such lovely, lovely shades.

This is a lovely, easy pattern to complete and I am delighted with the results.  It’s just a shame that I have finished it during the first sunny spell of the year when people are starting to put their scarves away.  I want to wear it – Can we hold back Spring a couple of weeks, please?

 

Threads March 13, 2011

Filed under: Work in Progress,Yarn Stash — crochethook @ 8:10 pm
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I have come to a conclusion about myself: I am a masochist.  I had an urge recently to investigate the mysteries of Irish Crochet. I don’t know if this was some desire to get in touch with the manifold woes of my ancestors or just because I am easily distracted. Anyway, one look at the vintage patterns on the web made me realise that I had no hope of being to just dip into the art.  At the very least, I was going to have to have a crack at crocheting in thread with a tiny hook first rather than in wool with a whacking great one.

I had some number 10 crochet cotton knocking about from an ill-advised foray into tatting. (I have always fancied being either a Roman or a Victorian.  Reading masses of Victorian novels while I was studying had convinced me that tatting was a craft I should try and cultivate to get into the 19th Century mind-set.  I was, however, completely rubbish at it.  If you want to see how it should be done, check out Occasional Crafter’s blog which never fails to engender jealousy and admiration in me.  I suppose I should just be grateful that the Roman fantasies didn’t get the upper-hand or I could have been blogging about being sacked for wearing a toga to work.)

I also had the tiny hooks as I had bought every size I could find when I was a rookie crocheter but never used them. I got started by trying out an uncomplicated motif from The Harmony Guides: Crochet Stitch Motifs using the thread and a 2mm hook. I plumped for the Waterwheel motif which consisted solely of trebles and chains and it came out surprisingly well.

The Waterwheel, now used by Mr Grasshead as a little mat to sit on.

Emboldened by my success, I raided Ravelry for patterns.  There were a lot of doilies and, although very pretty , they didn’t strike me as particularly useful objects to start churning out.  Then I found this wonderful tablecloth pattern. (NB: if you fancy a go at this yourself, there should be an errata for row 5.  It says * ch 3, sc over end of next loop, 1 sc in each of the next 3 sc, sc over beginning of next loop, ch 3, 3 dc in center dc of next 3 dc group, ch 4, dc in center st of next loop, ch 1, 3 dc in center dc of next 3 dc group, repeat from * whereas it should be “ch 4, dc in centre st of the next loop, ch 4“.)

My first motif took me a week which was a bit disheartening.  This was partly due to the misprint but mostly because the thread and hook still felt so fiddly to work with.  I am picking up speed now I have made 5 squares, however, and can average one motif in about 3 hours.  It feels like starting to learn to crochet all over again as I have to look at what I am doing rather than glancing down every now and again but the results seem to be worth it.  I can’t believe my ham-fists have produced something so delicate.

 

I was very impressed with myself when it came out right.

4 motifs joined together produces a square 5″ by 5″ so I am unlikely to reach tablecloth size any time soon. Maybe a nice tray-cloth instead.  That feels very Victorian. And the Irish Crochet?  At this rate I’ll be ready to make a start sometime around 2013. Check back then for an update.

1 and a half week's work.