Saturday, 2 May 2009

Summer Crochet

It is summer, I can hear the growl of a lawnmower, the tree outside my room has sprouted green leaves and lost insects keep bumping my window. Which brings me onto the question of what a crocheter is meant to make in the summer? Wool and woollen garments are essentially winterware, for cold days to keep you warm, and what I have been making: scarves, hats and gloves, are all silly accessories to wear in the sun. 

So what should I make? I've been looking at bags - I bought the Crochet Me! book a while ago because I liked the idea of the Felted Messenger Bag, but now looking at that long, repetitive single colour crocheting to make the back, I am not so convinced. Additionally, there is the logistical problem of the washing machines at uni not having the level of control required to do the felting. Basically, you can set it to wash for various different levels all having a descriptive name rather than temperature (Colours, Whites, Woollens etc.) and then the door is locked and you cannot stop it. Oh, and it's £1.40 a cycle. Not ideal for felting. 

I have been looking at Ellen Gormley's Traveller, but I'm not sure if I want a bag that is that style nor size - I have plenty (too many!) already.

Which leads me onto mesh style grocery bags such as the Knit-o-matic bags or Bernat market bag or Crochet Me's Cocoon Bag. But I already have a very functional shopping bag - it's from M&S and is made of a nylon(?)ish material that can be folded into a tiny bag and slipped into my handbag. I don't have to remember to lug around a huge bag with me, and so don't have that horrible guilt when the checkout person asks if I want a bag or not. Only problem is it says M&S on it, and my usual shop is Sainsbury's - it feels like a bit of a betrayal to carry round my Sainsbury's shopping in a M&S bag!

So I can't decide about bags. What else is there to make in the summer? Crocheting bikinis doesn't look overly appealing! I have been trying out different yarn types - soya and bamboo on Sea Shells scarf (yes, a scarf - but it is light and the thinner more cottony fibres make it feel a little more summery):

Sea Shells Scarf:

Pattern: Sea Shells Scarf by Alla Koval

Hook: 4mm (I think...)

Yarns: Main body: Sirdar, Just Soya in Hot Pepper - 1 skein

Edging: Twilley's of Stamford, Freedom  Gorgeous 4 ply in Green - didn't use much of this at all

Thoughts: The pattern was easy to follow, but I'm not convinced by my yarn or colour choice. This may be something that languishes at the bottom of my crochet box until am surprised by a birthday, or motivated enough to buy a yarn that goes with the Reddish-Purple of the main body better. The yarns were a little splitty and cottony, it works more as a showpiece than a functional scarf.

I've also been working through the Inside Crochet magazine. I mentioned Meadow Scarf last time:

Meadow Scarf:


Pattern: Meadow Scarf by Robyn Chachula

Hook: 5mm

Yarns: Wendy Mode DK in Teal and Vapour Blue - 1 skein each

Stylecraft Life DK in Mint - about half a skein

Thoughts: I love Mode DK, and I think Stylecraft Life DK is awesome as well (my local yarn store now stocks a whole menagerie of different colours in this affordable yarn that is great for amigurumi) but for this project I think I would have been better to go with something a little more fine and less woolly. Not necessarily the recommended yarn - I'm possibly a little bit of a rebellious new crocheter in that sense, but I do feel that if a project has been proved to be able to be made in a certain yarn, then I should be able to see if it can be made or even look better in a different yarn. The scarf has been given away as a birthday present, to a fairly happy friend (though the fact I made something for them seems to make most people happy) so I consider it to be a success.


I tried to conquer broomstick lace one Sunday morning, and consider myself somewhat successful - the trick was to keep the lace parts long by sliding them onto a ruler. I need to make myself a moustache for a murder mystery party tomorrow, and am considering using the same method, just not joining the lace together. Anyway, that resulted in the Broomstick lace Neckwarmer in good old Mode DK in Teal (yes, I have a lot left from the cardigan) and a 3.5mm hook:

I used leftover buttons from the cardigan to join it together, and I reckon it looks rather fine - if totally unseasonal!

I've been rather inspired by the Attic 24 blog -especially the use of colour and rainbows. I liked the circular pillows and mats so much that I decided to make my own mat based on the round cushion and bag (there is a tutorial somewhere on the site, but I can't find it). I realised that I didn't really have a rainbow of colours: just lots of green. Six shades which I used to make 8 rings, and is now serving as a mat for my fruit bowl. This also allowed me to practise with some new yarn: Debbie Bliss Pure Cotton DK. It was more robust than what I am used to, and a little bit more unwieldy, but was fairly easy to work without being stringy. I also used the Freedom Bamboo blend again, and am undecided about it - it does redefine what I think about yarn, being more like embroidery thread than wool, but it isn't awful.

I'm currently working on a few projects - each got put on hold because of yarn shortage. Chelsea Norquay's Pretender  beret in Rowan Tapestry was put on hold as the chain store that stocks yarn that I use had run out of the right shade. The internet order eventually arrived yesterday after a diversion to my parent's home. The first skein I used of this yarn was horrible - knotty and so unspun that it bound itself with other fibres. I then bought a different shade (thinking it was similar) and made something that I'll probably frog and it worked like a dream, and is such a lovely yarn. I hope these new skeins will work as well as that one.

I'm also making Megan Marshall's Acacia Scarf in Sirdar Crofter, which is meant to give a Fair Isle effect. As I am crocheting, and working in long lines, this isn't coming through successfully at all, but it is still an attractive blend of colours and makes an unusual looking scarf.

Finally, I started Amy O'Neill Houck's Babydoll Dress from Crochet Me in Rowan Pure Wool DK in the most fantastic deep purple. Partly because I wanted to see how the ribbing worked, partly because I wanted to make something from the Crochet Me book and partly because it was one of the few designs in the book where I had the correct yarn and hook on hand. I'm not sure if the dress will be very flattering to my figure, or whether I will finish because the yarn is rather expensive, but it's proving a worthy distraction.

And that's it for now! If anyone can recommend a bag pattern that doesn't require felting, isn't a handbag or a grocery bag then I would be very interested!

0 thoughts:

Template by