Thursday, 11 February 2016

Part 9 Making the scarf wider with lovely new yarn

This is my hoard from the Waltham Abbey Wool Show, which I have been dying to try so now I have finished up the yarn tube I am going to use it.

Part 9 Using new yarn to make the scarf wider.
First piece uses new yarn and some of the beads I bought at Waltham

   Second piece: the shape and the yarn speak for this patch. 
These two were sewn directly onto the scarf  to make it wider.

Then I made scumbles (of  shapes to fit) by connecting small patches together and crocheting round the edge before sewing them on to the scarf/shawl.

 Another fat paisley with bullions
 A spiral in three colours with crab stitch detail
Supposed to be a circular motif - it isn't very but it doesn't matter this is free form.
 Sew them together
 Crochet some beads round the edge.
Sew it on to the scarf/shawl. You can see the diamond shape too. There is a triangular piece of mesh to fill a gap.

 You probably recognise all the separate parts of this piece.

 Here it is added to the shawl together with the square from earlier
Finally to smooth off the edge a bit there is a semi-circular patch that was crocheted directly onto the work with a few leaves that were added later.

So you can see my way of doing free form is the jigsaw method. It gives me a chance to try out any new motifs, stitches, yarn or methods. I don't worry too much about colours since I have already chosen the palette before I start but I have to admit that when I am immersed in a project like this, I am blinkered in yarn shops to only choosing things that I think will go with it. This is a good thing because it does stop me from buying too much yarn.
Next time one of my favourite jobs: part 10 making a fringe, part 11 the big reveal.
Lynn and Victoria.

Monday, 1 February 2016

Wintergreen Free Form Crochet Part 7 filling gaps and Part 8 new yarn and a rethink.

This picture is what started this free form. I took it walking round Heath Lake on a misty morning and then I used it as the inspiration for the patch below.

Part 7 How to fill awkward gaps.

Trouble is that although I liked the picture I didn't like the patch but when you add a few bits it starts to look better.
The spiral fits the dent in the side.

Add a rather plump paisley and crochet it all together.
How to fill the strange shaped gaps?
Bullions - join yarn at height of bullions that you are going to make.
Work them all into the corner of the triangle to be filled - I always do too many, less rather than more is much tidier.

Crochet round the edge to knit the piece together.
A leaf for another funny gap

This is crocheted around a roman blind ring mainly dc but some trebles to give the point. Then this shape is sewn in to another gap.

A bit more crochet along one edge to give a triangle.
Pop corns are very good for gaps because you can make them different sizes and they will bend to fit a gap.
                                                                                     A bit more crocheting around the edge and some                                                                                          more bullions - now I am happy with this scumble.
You can probably spot the scumble here but the reason for this picture is to show how much I have got from one tube of yarn.
There is a tiny bit of yarn left

Part 8 Adding more yarn
There is no good reason for the next bit except pure self indulgence, you see I went to the Waltham Abbey Wool Show and bought some yarn which I have been desperate to use so I am now going to start adding patches made from some of this yarn.

So here is how far I have got. I have added buttons and some fringing but I am not happy with it as it is but the shape is shawly. So I am going to make it wider - Part 9 more patches with gorgeous yarn and adding width.
Lynn and Victoria.

P.S. the Waltham show was lovely small enough to see everything but big enough to offer a wide variety of yarn, buttons and beads. Lots of real craftspeople whose work was inspirational. Thoroughly recommended.

Thursday, 28 January 2016

Crochet Rose Quicky!

Just a quicky to share some love.

I found a link on Pinterest to a video tutorial for a beautiful rose.  A video?  No several lengthy videos where She's Crafty takes you through every stitch and every stage to make a rose bud, a half opened rose and a fully opened rose.

It is a beautiful design.

I've spend quite some time over the last two days with this CAL and I'm so happy with the results I had to share.

Warning:  You will need to use a 2.2mm hook with DK yarn - tricky and tight ... I upsized to a 2.5 because my yarn was splitting too frequently.  Also, the videos are quite long and slow if you're a very competent crocheter.  I was often waiting for her to catch up.

With Valentine's Day coming up what better gift?

Here's the link if you're inspired: Crochet Rose by She's Crafty

And here's my rose:

Wednesday, 27 January 2016

Wintergreen Free Form Crochet parts 5 and 6

This week I have made lots more patches. Three of them have been added to the original scumble. The idea was that the greens of winter are often dark and I felt that the work was becoming too spring like.

A green triangle to fill a gap. Made from a boucle yarn. Will be explaining this and more in part 7 how to fill awkward gaps.

A little piece ripple stitch done in 4ply green yarn.
You can find instructions and diagrams to help you make this pattern at Planet June (another crocheter we admire).

The third patch is an open loopy square. Choose any square that pleases you. There are some examples here. These are 12 inch squares so they are a bit big for the present work but you can stop anywhere you like in the patterns.

Part 5
This is the scarf so far. The trouble is it looks like some mad womans' jigsaw puzzle ( no comments thank you ).  To link the piece into a whole garment you can use crochet edges that go across more than one patch. The first example is across spiral and one leaf. This is just a row of double crochet, the thickness of the yarn is irrelevant as long as the hook is approximately right for the yarn gauge. The way I make sure that the new edge fits is to watch the stitches and if they lean backwards I do two stitches in the next hole, if they lean forwards I might miss a stitch. This is something that needs practice but as I have said this is free form so if the edge you are crocheting becomes a bit frilly it doesn't matter.

This edge starts at  the yellow popcorn/dome and goes all the way round to the light green fan/wing. But I wanted to finish the small ball of yarn so I went back a bit so there are two rows in places.  I was using dc and a colour changing boucle yarn. Remember to do more stitches at outward corners and crochet two or three together at inward facing corners


These were just crocheted to fit a gap: small square of dc and a little circle  using htr, The paisley I made up but there are plenty of patterns on line PattiHaskins has gone to the trouble of making a PDF  for anyone to use.

Here they are sewn on.I am still not quite happy so I went looking for inspiration.

This is my favourite -I think because Vicky and I both contributed.
I also love the colours.

I think the difference between this one and the current piece is the amount of raised texture so I am going to add some by means of Bullions.

Part 6 A more complicated patch

So here are the next addition there are only 2 new things one very easy - the good old granny square but done in furry yarn and the spiral using 2 colours and including bullions. I had struggled for ages trying to do bullions until I found a method using a straw (I told you I would explain it later.) There is a very good video showing how to do it here . It should also be clear why you need a straight hook.

If you need to look at some more very beautiful free form, you can't go wrong with the work of Daniela Cerri. I particularly like the room divider screen.
Next time how to fill awkward gaps.
Lynn and Victoria.

Monday, 18 January 2016

Wintergreen Free Form Crochet Parts 3 and 4

Part 3 The Tools
The tools I use. Right cork pin board

Free form can use different thickness, different texture and different fibre yarns so you will need different size hooks and yarn needles. The pin board is a way of organising and arranging the patches until you are happy with the effect. When I crochet I prefer a hook with a handle whereas Vicky always uses a sraight hook, but for some techniques you can only use a straight hook and the Macdonalds straw is essential but this is for part 6 'More advanced techniques and patches'

My method of making a free form piece is to make lots of small patches and then lay them down on the pin board, changing their positions until a particular combination pleases me. This is usually a small area which I then sew or crochet together. The inspiration for the small patches can come out of my head, from some of the free online patterns or from the book by Renata Kirk Patrick. (which actually belongs to Vicky) or the down loadable booklet by Prudence Mapstone - this is not free but it is really worth looking at her work - she is a real expert and her art is amazing.
But this is free form you can do what you like, your edges do not need to be straight and your mistakes can become part of the pattern -I love it!

Part 4 The first patches

So as I said having made a few motifs, I try them in different arrangements until I find something I like. I suspect most people are more organised than this and have a plan in advance of starting the crochet - but this is free form so we do whatever we feel like! Hooray!

After a few tries I came across this combination which I liked so I have sewn it together, There are only four different motifs how to make them is explained below.

These are called domes or pop-corns. The way I make them is to make a magic circle then
ROW 1: 3ch and work 12 tr into the circle. Join with a ss to the third of the three ch.
ROW 2: Then 1ch and then work 1dc in each stitch to the end, join with a ss to the first ch.and fasten off.

But as I keep saying this is free form try making the first row 12 htr or 12 dc. Try working the second row in the back loops only. Make your dome taller by making the second row half trebles or even trebles. Have fun experiment.

This one is called a wing and  is quite tricky but you can find out how to do it here.  Number #7  leads you to  how to make spiral flowers and all you have to do is stop half way.  

The same blog has lots of links to how to make spirals.

   I have a little confession; the brownish surface crochet was not in the original tube of yarn. I used a little bit of embroidery thread.

   Crochet leaves; there are lots of helpful videos showing you how to do this. The way I do it is:
1. 10ch turn
2. ss in second ch from hook, dc in next ch, htr in next, tr in next 2 hdtr in next ch, then tr, htr, dc, ss
3. 2ch then work up the other side of the starting ch. ss, dc, htr, tr, 2hdtr, tr, htr, dc, ss. Then ss into point of leaf.
4. You can fasten off now if you want a smooth edged leaf or you can do another round working in back loops only (dc, dc, 2ch ) all around your leaf.

If all this feels a bit daunting, Vicky has made a guided free form pattern for a note book cover to get you started.

Next time Part5: crocheting directly on to the scumble.
                Part 6: more complicated patches and techniques.