Thursday, April 29, 2010

My mum was so talented

So far I have been blogging my exploits with a crochet hook (and other yarn related activity).  So I thought I should give some insight to where I got the crochet bug from.

My mum was an extremely talented woman, she could knit and crochet so many wonderful things.  She would not only make clothes for us but also outfits for our dolls as well - we had the best kitted out Cindy's and Barbie's in the world ... in my opinion anyway :)

She taught me to knit, when I was very young but never got the chance to teach me to crochet.   She died when I was 9.  But the legacy of wonderful crochet things that she left behind inspired me to learn myself. I am hoping that the genes I inherited from her will give me even half the talent she had.

This photo shows my sister and me (I'm the little one) ready for our aunt's wedding - we were bridesmaids - or at least the junior versions :)  my mum crochet these dresses for us.  As you can see it was in the 70's, Orange & Brown has never been so popular :)

And there she is, the woman behind the hook - hanging on to me.

I have other examples of her work ... I just need to find the time to photograph them properly.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Yarn storage ...

I've been meaning to sort this out for a while, my current yarn storage is one large plastic box with everything thrown in.  It started out with some order.  I put the cottons at one end and the 4 ply's together etc, but that never lasts long.  They very quickly become a jumble of yarns getting tangled together.

So I have finally got my act together and have bought myself some storage.

I got 2 of these.  Originally I was thinking of getting some drawers, or those plastic buckets that fit into a drawer unit.  But the problem with those is that you can't immediately see into them.  So this this unit I can see whats been stored in each "pigeon hole".

The units have arrived today!  So now I need to figure out how I'm going to get them into the car - I may be enlisting some help from the guys at work :)

The major downside of this is, now I have to tidy the storage cupboard that I keep my yarn in so that I can fit these in!  I guess there has to be some pain somewhere.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Next project, destination unknown

Now that I have finally finished the walnut baby bear I can move onto something else.  I've not got a specific project in mind, so I am just going with the flow.  I am struggling to find the time to spend on crochet right now, there always seems to be so many things to do when I get home from work in the evening & the weekends are just tooooo short!

Right now I am kind of doodling.  I am doing some lacy crochet using some cotton yarn I have lying around (Sirdar luxury soft) - I really need to get my yarns organised, another job to add to the list!

At the moment nothing is presenting itself as an end result for this effort, but I will keep going and see where my imagination takes me.

I think that these lacy strips often make nice jewellery pieces, but this one is too substantial for that.  I will keep working using this same pattern for a bit more and have another think.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Woo (and indeed) Hoo, Walnut Baby bear is complete

OK, so I'm not sure how happy I am with the finished result ... but here he is anyway.

I don't generally use toy eyes, because I like my toys to be safe for even the smallest of hands, the result is ... he looks a little stoned !!!

I always find the finishing touches the most difficult ...

I think I'll have to write up the pattern as a next step - as the face is embroidered I guess that anyone else who makes him can use their own artistic license.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Walnut Baby Bear .... Nearly there

So the saga continues ... but the end is in sight.

I managed to get the motivation to finish the ears & put in a nose last night.  I'm thinking about how to do the eyes & mouth and if I need to add a "tip" to the nose ... maybe something embroidered or something else.  I need to add the eyes and then think what it needs to be finally complete.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Drop spindle spinning

As you know from my previous blog entries I took a notion to learn how to drop spindle spin.  So my kit arrived

And I started spinning, its not as easy as the YouTube videos make it look !!  So I saught advice from the spinners on Etsy & they reassured me that "it takes time", "don't worry if its lumpy" ... So I gave it a proper try

As you can see, they were right about the lumpy!!  Its so hard to keep consistency,

As you can see, I had a few nice thin bits ... but plenty of chunky fat bits & a few over twisty bits.  But you know what, I was happy enough with this as a first try.

So I thought, lets go again.  So with my new found confidence I decided to give it another go.

Here we go with try #2, I think I am gettin the consistency better - hardly perfect yet, but better.  At least there are fewer chunky lumps :)

I am still struggling a bit with joining in a new piece of roving, I'll still get a chunkier bit there - but I think there's been progress.

Its really good fun, and you know what?  I am starting to think that, maybe, one day, I'll actually spin something I can crochet with ... You never know!!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Walnut Baby Bear ..... looking differently scary

Ta-da ... one Walnut Baby Bear with head & jumper :)

Now I need to make some ears, eyes & a nose - I've not decided on the nose yet, classic round bear nose or something different.  The ears will be semi-circles - unless some other inspiration hits me between now and when I make them :)

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Walnut baby bear ... progresses

So progress continues, I have stuffed the body & attached the arms.  Its now looking alarmingly like a headless chicken !!  I hope that it transforms when the head is attached & the little finishing touches are done.

I've also done the front of the jumper with the WB initials.  What do you think?

Monday, April 12, 2010

Walnut baby bear progress report

I've got to the stage where I can start putting my bear together.  So the legs were the first bit that got attached.

The arms are next then I need to figure out if the jumper needs to be added before the head or not - my thinking right now is that jumper first then head it should make the sewing together much easier.

Right now it looks a little scary, my headless bear!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Etsy CreateCrochet Team - how talented are these guys!!

Here are some great items from the Create Crochet Team from Etsy

How cute are these? Perfect for your little one this summer.
By crochele

Your laptop is naked without one
By longestyarn

I love the colours in this scarf, so cheerful and summery
La Vie en Rose Flower Scarf
By lilycobweb

My favourite colours, gone are the days of buring your hand on your coffee.
By blissthings

Perfect for summer days, would look fantastic casual with jeans or dressed up for an evening out.
Blue Crochet Cotton Shrug
By justbehappy

The colours in this hat are irresistible
By BenjaminKrudwig

You know I am a sucker for anything purple! But this neckwarmer is quite special - those buttons are magic!
By justbehappy

Oh My God, these are the definition of CUTE
Ella the Giraffe
By irenestrange

So elfish! I know that we are coming into summer, but here in the UK you never know when you are going to need warm things!
By ballofyarn

These remind me of Uggs.  How sweet!!
By CrochetTLC

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Walnut Baby Bear - Jumper

So I decided that my bear needs a jumper .... and I want to put a WB logo on the front - after all it is the Walnut Baby Bear.

So here is the pattern I am intending to follow.  Now I just need to crochet it !!

What to do with this ....

This was one of those "see how it evolves" pieces.  I had an original idea, but this came out much bigger and chunkier than I had planned - having said that I still like how it looks.

It is made with crochet rings & cotton yarn.  I think it sort of looks like a stylised sun.

So now I have a dilemma, what do I do with it?  I am waiting for inspiration to hit but so far nothing has come. 

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

The walnut baby bear

The Walnut Baby Bear is my latest project.  I want to create a good toy for newborns and have started to crochet a bear/doll.  Its not going to be a classic teddybear.

Up to now I have a head, body & 2 legs ... arm #1 is in progress.  It is all crochet using 4Ply 100% cotton yarn & will be stuffed with standard fibrefil toy stuffing.

The finishing touches will be some ears and a nose.  I plan (right now) to sew on eyes and a smile, but as with all my inventions it will probably evolve when I get to that point.  I am thinking of adding a jumper with a WB Logo.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Spinning my own yarn - I've taken the plunge

I am quite excited about this.  The temptation of the explorer pack from was too much.  I've ordered one of these packs.

I am not sure how long it will take to arrive, but I'm like a kid waiting for Christmas right  now waiting for it to arrive.  I have to try and tame my excitement & realise that spinning is likely to be quite difficult to get the hang of.

I'm in two minds about finding, its got such great stuff ... I could end up spending a fortune !!!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Spinning yarn

I've been toying with the idea of spinning my own yarn.  Now I have absolutely no idea how to start with this so I engaged with my friend "The Internet".

I have found a site that sells "tops" which I have now discovered is the name for the wool that I can use to spin into yarn.  World of Wool seems to be a good source for the raw materials, but I still need to find a spindle & give it a try.

The Fibrecrafts website seems to have a pretty reasonable selection of spindles
as well as selling tops.   Go to their website for more details of the items below.  I am seriously tempted by their Explorer pack.

I think the excuses to not try out spinning my own yarn are drying up.

I also found a pretty good resource for information on spinning, Joy of spinning.  Its given me some inspiration.  

Well ... I think I really should try to use up some of the extensive stash of yarn that I have already hoarded.. or maybe not :)

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Crochet summer bag, with flowers

This was one of my evolving projects, I was on a "making flowers" kick and then needed to make them into something.  So I thought of a nice summer handbag/purse.

I love the yarn I used, its Sirdar's Luxury soft 4Ply cotton yarn.  It does have the tendancy to split but its lovely to work with and the finished product is so soft and touchable.

I didn't want to make a plain or just striped bag, so I used the spike stitch to create a nice effect.

I also didn't want to just sew some flowers onto the bag as "decoration" so I made the flap from them

Just for fun I also threw in a small butterfly in the flowers :)

I have not decided if this is for sale or not yet ....