Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Photographing Coasters and A Crochet Purse

After a few lovely days it rained yesterday which meant I could crochet all day. So I finished the coasters and used the same technique to make a purse.

In my quest to take good pictures first I tried the newly scrubbed table.
 Then I tried the patio. It was at this point that I thought that having used tiny old glasses that even these mini bread sticks are out of scale and look a bit like telegraph poles.
So I tried a close up.
 And back to the table, with a small pot plant and a pile of coasters.
This shows the whole set. They are made from dk cotton using mainly half trebles and trebles but the effect is achieved by crocheting into the row below and lengthening the stitch. I also crocheted mostly between the stitches rather than into the top of the stitch.

Having found a new technique I had to apply it to something else:

Pretty purse that I was so please with that I decided to make it really luxurious with a soft felt lining.
It uses the same sort of cotton as the costers and a purse clip with plastic bobbles.

Here is the lining and looking at the picture I can see that I have left the tacking threads in the lining .

I am going to make another one of these because it is one of those things that when it is finished you cannot bear to give it away. This feeling doesn't occur often but I crochet so much that it goes part way to explaining why the house is full of crochet.

Sunday, 25 May 2014

Crochet Obsession a Guilty Secret?

The following will prove that crochet is not just my hobby and my passion but it is an obsession, and an addiction that is taking over the whole house.

 In one corner of the living room we find: Tubes of yarn which we are selling at the moment for people who want lots of textures and fibres and thicknesses without buying whole balls of yarn.
Also the logo -still nameless sitting on a bowl of beads waiting to be packaged! The beads that is.
This is the table on the right hand side of the chair I work in: Blue snakes/ worms, some flower pot or row markers for gardeners.
The red zip up purse is a kit for making motifs.
 This is the surface of a wheeled set of drawers on the left hand side of my chair. Here we have: an unfinished eye, the set of coasters that I am working on , some flowers for sticking on row markers (garden not knitting), a soft cotton wash cloth and a covered flower pot.
 On the main table are some lady birds waiting to be adjusted
 And packets of beads, buttons and toy eyes. I wonder if the lottery ticket is a winner. If it was I wouldn't stop crocheting.
Set of shelves with buttons and beads waiting to be packaged.

To be honest I havn't shown you the stash of wool, the sewing machine, Grahams spinning wheel and the piles of crochet books and magazines.

I have probably said that Vicky and I are both ex-teachers so at this time of year I try to think of pretty and useful gifts for teachers. Once more this is inspired by 'Inside Crochet'

This is a prototype and I have put the pot containing the plant inside the pot that I have covered but I hope it gives an idea.

The flower has a tiny silver thank you attached but you could write any message on the white plastic stick.

I have shown you some of the living room but most of the rest of the house has craft of some sort in every possible corner. Maybe if I win the lottery I should buy a second house - one to live in and one to crochet in or would they be the same house?

Thursday, 22 May 2014

Chaos and Calm Caused by Crochet.

Do you ever have days when your head is teeming with ideas and you flit from one to the other without completing anything? In my living room, which is where I work, you will find the following: a pot full of blue snakes with googly eyes (still need to make more of these), a new flower pot for covering, a corrected pattern for me to try, the 3D logo sitting in a pot full of beads, some incomplete evil minions and masses of wool, beads buttons and ribbons waiting to be packaged. I wish that this was a complete list but there is so much more. I will take photos for the next blog to illustrate the chaos.

This fits with the theme - lovely organised rainbow covered bean can filled with chaotic flowers and butterflies stuck on lolly sticks and coffee stirrers. All very green!

 Another hat. Bear in mind that the head is a small version of the famous Girls World, so this is actually made for a small baby.
Vicky had two girls world heads when she was little - one blond and one brunette. I am sure she will be really glad I have told everybody!
The brim can be worn up or down. Chaotic hair tidy hat ?
I have always put flowers on the brim or round where the brim meets the hat - thought I would try something different this time - what do you think?

Now am I going back to tidying the chaos that is my house or the calm and order that is crochet? No contest!

Sunday, 18 May 2014

Beaches and Creatures

Graham and I have just come back from Jersey (the Channel Island not the knitted version). We had an amazing week lovely place, lovely people and the beaches are to die for.
Just two examples but there are many more. Please note the lack of people, the only time we saw more than 5 people on the beach was on Saturday when the weather was even more amazing than the rest of the week.

Not much crochet this week but I said last time that I had ordered too many eyes so here I am trying to use them up:

This is real free-form crochet I just made them up as I went along -which is always good fun because the result is such a surprise. The square one looks as if he is dancing but I think I am going to have to give him a mouth. The surprised eyes make him look as if he is desperate to say something.

This one is made from sightly thicker yarn and I made the arms, legs and hair? as I crocheted the two halves together. Wouldn't he make a lovely sun if he was made in yellow or orange.

This is a commission that I started before we went on holiday. it is made from pink acrylic dk.

I am very pleased with the effect - very cute and completely unique.

I know I have promised several times to publish a motif pattern but I seem to be unable to do it in this format so all I can say is if you would like a copy please get in touch and I will e-mail it to you.

Last thing before I fall asleep at my computer is just another example of the practicality of crochet. On the beach the wind kept blowing my hair in my face, so that I couldn't see and kept tripping over things. So during the evening I made a quick hair band - problem solved. 
You didn't really think I left home for a whole week with no hooks and yarn did you?

Thursday, 8 May 2014

A Successful Day

We had a very successful day at the Wokingham May Fair but very tiring in fact we are still recovering.  
Best of all we met some really lovely people who were complimentary about our work and some who were as mad about crochet as we are.

Now I know there are sayings about bad workmen blaming their tools but I am trying to do this on Graham's laptop so please forgive any glaring errors. My own machine has absolutely no display so I can't even access the motif pattern that I promised.

At the fair we sold all sorts of things but the oddest was purchased by a little girl who wanted to buy one of these. They are baked bean cans which we made to display crochet hooks. I felt I couldn't sell her the can because it might be dangerous so she took just the covering with a view to finding a jam jar to cover herself
I made these using a 3.5mm hook and double knitting.

40 chain is about right to go round the tin. then two rows of trebles in each colour. When the piece is long enough the last row is (2dc then dc2 together) all the way to the end of the row and fasten off. Stitch the red row together then add a bead to every other row as shown in the picture. Now put the cover on the can and stitch the blue row together and use the beads to button the cover down the front.

 Made for a child because we sold several last Monday. I used dk cotton . It has a rolled brim which can be worn up or down.

I decided these were not good photographs so I went off to find a stand and while I was away this happened:

Vicky's lunatic brother trying to get his head in a very small hat. The following are much better I think:

 Although perhaps I should have brushed her hair.
Of course all this got me thinking about hats. So here is my hat parade -get it?

Yoda is my absolute favourite and it doesn't really matter how often I block his ears they always revert to sad and depressed mode. Anyway our next fair is at Hurst on the 28th and 29th of June. We will be having a hat sale with many of out winter hats at reduced prices.

One more head related thing and it is these that Vicky made:

Lovely crowns and tiaras suitable for any queens and princesses that may need them.

One of the things that seems to sell well are these packets of buttons - please notice the continuing rainbow theme.

 Havn't got any indigo or violet so I have improvised!
They do come in all shapes and colours though.

And finally another of those signs that I am aging rapidly. I wanted some safety eyes to make the logo with. So I ordered some, then I forgot I ordered them and made some out of felt. But the real problem is that while I was on the site ordering the black and white eyes I ordered a few more!

Do you think I might have over done it?

Thursday, 1 May 2014

Crochet logo, rainbows and tablet covers again

Less than a week to the next fair at Wokingham -May fair on the 5th. If any of you are passing please say hello. We will be the ones with the banner saying String Theory Crochet - surprise. Our stall is by the steps near Argos and near two coffee shops -hooray.
Anyway as you can imagine I have been making a few bits for the fair and finding all the things we use to dress the stall. Most were put away in the loft to make room for Christmas and I am still looking for them! You really would't believe the state of our attic.
These are what I have been making -

These are a few tablet cases which seem very popular at the moment -  I use mine all the time, in fact my Nexus is the model for the photograph above. The trouble is they are all different sizes so in a previous blog I explained how to make a cosy for any size of tablet. All except the yellow one are made with super chunky tarn and a 4mm hook to give a firm fabric and lots of padding. The yellow one is dk but I have lined it so the tablet is safe.

Once again Vicky put this idea in my head - I had been thinking for some time that we needed a 3D version of our logo and she said she was going to have a go at making one, so I thought I could help out by making one for her. Then I started to wonder should it have a mouth? Is the hair right? Should I have given it a basket, should it have a name (suggestion from someone was Needle and Fred ). So think of this as the prototype.
I have used the birth of a new member of the team to do some more photography experiments:

Surrounded by tubes of rainbow yarn which we are now selling for scumbling and making the motifs for the throw/scarf that I shared in a previous blog. The pattern will appar soon.

Piles of yarn?

Surrounded by rainbows?

My computer is once again causing me much pain so I will have to publish the pattern for the motif in the next posting. I think the machine is suffering from old age and lack of memory . Very much like its owner!