Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Crochet Beaded Barefoot sandals

I finished these last night.

They started with making the little half-moons and then they morphed into barefoot sandals

My feet are very small, but I hope that the way that they wrap round would work on larger feet too - I like to make things that are a little different to the norm, and I have not seen barefoot sandals that wrap like this before.

I have hand sewn on beads around the tie ends & also all allong the half-moons.

The tie ends are also long enough to wrap around a couple of times.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Don't you just hate it when .....

You get so engrossed with what you are watching on TV that you make mistakes in the thing you are making ... I was watching "Topic of Cancer" last night and managed to sew the beads on my latest creation on the wrong side !!! 

I am currently making a new pair if barefoot sandals.  I started out just making some motifs.  I have some lovely glass beads that I have been looking for an excuse to use.  This is often my design process, just start making something and see where it leads me.

And then decided that I would make barefoot sandals out of them.  I have joined the motifs so that they make an S shape and the next stage is to add some rocailles beads around the shape ... this is where I went wrong.  Oh well, I guess that its the mistakes and fixing them that makes the end result more special - well thats what I'm telling myself :)

So the task today is to fix the first one and sew the beads onto the second one.  More photos to follow, sorry about the quality of the photos here - they are taken with my mobile phone and it works much better as a phone than a camera :)

Monday, March 29, 2010

Wedding Crochet from Etsy

I have been trawling through the listings from the talented Etsy crocheters again, this time on a quest for handmade crochet wedding items.

Click on any of the titles to go directly to the Etsy shops where these items are available.

 By TwoKnit
By reflectionsbyds

By AliBaliJewellery

By Elde

By PrettiesInPink

By Floralworld

By Lazo

By binkaminka

By DzyndbySharon

By 4MyDolly

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Tatting ... Hummm

So I got my tatting kit this morning, it consists of 2 balls of tatting yarn, a shuttle & an instruction manual.

Well I thought that Crochet was hard to learn from a book !!  After quite a bit of creating useless knots and trying to figure out why my tatting looked upside down compared to the instructions I decided that I needed some extra tuition.

My mantra is "there is nothing you can't find on the internet" so I got out trusty old google and set about finding some how-to's for tatting.

YouTube - you are a Godsend!  I discovered that the instructions were not making "the flip" clear ... and this, as I know now. is what tatting is all about - no flip, no tat :)

This YouTube video is great for showing what is supposed to happen - this is what made it clear to me.

Now I have managed to create a wonderful chain of tatting - hardly the most exciting thing in the world but a huge leap forward from my knots of earlier.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Aran Crochet Shawl

As promised, an update on the progress with my aran crochet.  It certainly is not a forgiving art, there have had to be a couple of re-do's on this one following lapses in concentration.

As a first attempt I am quite happy with it.  All I need to do now is add a the finishing touches, a feature to the bottom & a button.  I have a lovely huge coconut flower button I plan to use.

The biggest challenge with this has been getting the twists to work well, I changed how I was doing them as I went along & really was only happy by the last one - isn't that always the way?

The shawl is still curling a bit too so I think that I'll have to wash & block it, which is going to be a challenge given the length.

So what do you think for a first go?  Was it a success or not?

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Designing new projects

I am getting on quite quickly with my Aran shawl now, new photos of progress to follow, so the time has come to come up with new projects.

I find the design process quite challenging, I don't generally like to simply follow a published pattern unless I am trying something out for the first time. 

Since spring is upon us & summer is (fingers crossed) just around the corner I am planning to make some more light weight & Summery items. 

My inspiration comes from lots of places, things I see in films & magazines, pictures, photographs and so on.  Quite often I will see a piece of jewellery and think maybe I could crochet something like that - generally my inspiration comes from things that are totally unrelated to Crochet.  I like the challenge of taking an idea and seeing how I can translate that into a finished crochet piece.

This little bracelet for example, clearly not crochet - but seeing something like this in a magazine or seeing someone wearing one would give me an idea to see if I could create something similar in crochet.

I have a few plans right now. 

I'd like to create some Irish crochet inspired barefoot sandals.  Irish Crochet can be very delicate and whispy or much heavier lace.  I am quite looking forward to combining some Irish Crochet motifs to create some barefoot sandals.

I'd also like to try out some more hairpin crochet & create more shawls & also some fingerless gloves - I think that the hairpin crochet would make some very pretty bridal items too.

The one major stumbling block that I have is that I am no artist.  I keep a book where I write down my ideas & also document my patterns.  Unfortunately sometimes I go back to an idea I had and find myself wondering just what exactly that little sketch is supposed to be :)

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Finished my "Alice" gloves

So I have finished the gloves now, I am pretty pleased with them overall.  They are available to buy from Walnut Baby on Etsy

OK, they look a bit bland when they are just lying flat - but I think they look very pretty on.

I think adding the shiny buttons adds another element to the gloves, makes them a little more special.

I think these particular buttons are a great find.  They are available from Totally Buttons

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Alice inspired fingerless gloves

I am always looking for new inspiration for things to make, so when I went to see Tim Burtons adaptation of Alice in Wonderland & noticed her little fingerless gloves ... I thought I could make those :)

My interpretation is to create the stripes with blocks of solid & lace crochet

and they have to have some pretty little buttons.

I just love these sparkly ones.

If you like these gloves/wrist warmers the pattern is available at my Etsy shop Walnut Baby

Spring Crochet from Etsy

Having spent the weekend digging in the garden and planting new plants I feel that Spring is definitely in the air.  So I have gone through Etsy in search of beautiful Spring inspired crochet items

This is such a pretty delicate little shrug, the back is even more impressive - click on the link above to see more photos

I love these lacy little gloves, perfect for an evening out.

This scarf is almost jewellery!

This little hat is so cheerful.

As with all Febystan's work, these earrings are wonderful

I am a big fan of crochet flowers & this design is so feminine.

Ahhhhhh - nothing more to say

Wonderfully practical bag

This really does make me "Think Spring"

I love purple & this scarfette is just so pretty.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Aran crochet diamonds... lesson

My aran crochet shawl is progressing quite well now.  The first critical lession I have learned is that its a very visual process.  You really need to view the pattern and keep a close eye on where things are going, the pattern description can be complicated or indeed simply confusing.  But that can be easily overcome by watching the pattern progress.

The key stitch is a front post treble (FPTR) in combination with half treble (HTR) stitches.  The plain parts of the work are done using HTR and the cables and raised areas are achieved using FPTR's

The "back" rows are all done using HTR, therefore the raised stitches are worked into the last "Front",

The difference in the heights of the stitches (TR & HTR) keeps things level while the TR is worked into the row below.

The classic aran pattern of cables & diamonds is worked by altering the number of stitches before & after the FPTR sitiches, this pulls or pushes the raised rows into the right position.

In the pattern above there are raised rows either side of the diamond, this really helps to keep the pattern right.  These raised rows don't move so they can be used to visually ensure that the pattern is working out right.

To achieve the diamond shape, each front row the number of HTR's worked before making the FPTR is changed, starting with 3 HTR in this particular pattern.  The FPTR is always worked into the lower FPTR.

This means that when the V of the diamond is being worked you are actually skipping an HTR from the previous row & then working these skipped HTR's into the centre of the diamond.    Then the reverse is true for the ^ of the diamond.

As you can see its quite difficult to explain in words ... Much easier to visualise.

The patterns are worked over a consistent number of stitches, it is simply the number of HTR's that proceed & follow the FPTR stitches that are altered to create the diamond pattern.

In my pattern above the diamond is worked over 11 stitches.  I'm ignoring the bobble for the purposes of this explaination.

1. 3HTR, 2FPTR, 1HTR, 2FPTR, 3HTR ( 11 stitches)
2. 2HTR, 2FPTR, 3HTR, 2FPTR, 2HTR  - To achieve this, work the first 2 HTR, skip one HTR before the 2 FPTR, work the 2FPTR stitches,  then work into the HTR sits above the second FPTR, work the 1 HTR from the middle of the diamond, work the HTR  above the 3rd FPTR (creating the 3HTR for the middle of the diamond), then work the 3rd & 4th FPTR, skip 1 HTR and work the last 2 HTR stitches
3. 1HTR, 2FPTR, 5 HTR, 2FPTR, 1HTR (worked in the same manner as above)
4. 2HTR, 2FPTR, 3HTR, 2FPTR,  2HTR - to achieve this I work the 1 HTR, then 1 HTR into the HTR that sits above the 1st FPTR.  Work the 2FPTR. skip 1HTR, work the 3 middle HTR, skip 1HTR, work the second 2FPTR, work 1 HTR into the HTR above the 4th FPTR, work the last HTR
5 3HTR, 2FPTR, 1HTR, 2FPTR, 3HTR - in the same manner as above.

This may not be a classic way of working aran crochet, but it works for me.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Aran crochet

I have done quite a lot of aran knitting over time, but up until now I have not tried anything more aran than a simple twist using crochet.

So always one for a new challenge I thought I'd try to create an aran shawl in crochet.  So far its slow going,  It takes a bit of time to understand how to create the shapes and make sure that everything hangs together.

I have chosen to use Sirdar Click chunky.  I have always preferred the look of aran when done with quite chunky yarn.  I am using the Cobble (0129) shade.

You can see my attempts so far

I think I have mastered the bobble ... the jury is still out on the cable though !!

I'll update with progress as things move along.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

My hairpin crochet work

Here are a couple of examples of my hairpin crochet work.  Its quite versatile.

The first example is a shawl I made, its worked with a mohair mix yarn to make the shawl even more etherial. 

Another example is using hairpin crochet to create jewellery.  I made these earrings using my loom, in the second example I have added in some pretty little beads.