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Sleepy Saturday.

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Two of the girls are sleeping and one has popped into town. Whilst it is quiet I am working on something bright and yet again ‘rainbow’ themed. I’m working out the design as I go and really enjoying the process.

The little dark star is snoozing next to me. I think the part of her zig zag blanket draped over her body looks like a sun sparkling wave breaking on the shore.

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I love this blanket so much, depending on how it’s laid over the little dark star’s little sleeping form, you get treated to different parts of its colour combinations. It’s got the most amazing ‘drape’ and weight to it to due to its overlap construction. One of my most favourite blankets ever.

Still haven’t posted a picture of the finalised As We Go blanket, the golden haired child keeps it on her bed and I’ve not had an opportunity to swipe it for a few pics yet! Will try and do that this week because it really is very pretty and deserves to be celebrated.

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The pleasure is all mine…

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I recently made the decision to stop taking orders for crochet things and just enjoy making stuff for myself and my family for a while. When I first started crocheting again after a break I enjoyed being asked to make things for other people, its flattering to think other people like your things enough to want you to make something for them too. It means a lot to me that somewhere out there babies are wearing bootees I have lovingly made and heads are kept snuggly in winter in my handmade crochet hats, whilst weeny owlets watch silently over their new owners.

Sadly as time has gone on I found I had almost completely stopped making anything for myself, my girls or as gifts for people, because every spare crochet minute was spent racing down the order list. It took a while to realise but the end product had become the goal so much that I was losing out on the sheer joy of the process. I felt under pressure too, I started having trouble relaxing at all because I’d feel terribly guilty If I wasn’t working on an order.

When I told someone a while back I was thinking I’d like to start a blog she said it was a great idea but “leave the mental stuff out” which I have done to date, but I need to mention it here as part of this post. I suffer from ‘anxiety’. I never really understood what that really feels like to have constant physical symptoms like that till I actually started to experience it. I think anxiety probably manifests itself differently person to person, so I will not describe my symptoms but for me the pressure of deadlines and a growing order list was feeding my anxiety and I had to decide it was time to stop. I was experiencing a paradox of being really overjoyed that sometimes I could create something lots of people wanted me to make but at the same time kind of wishing they wouldn’t! That sounds awful (ungrateful even?) but I hope it makes a little sense.

I’ve spoken about it before I’m sure, but I need to have variety too, I cannot plough endlessly in the same furrow. I get bored and it becomes tedious. It really matters to me that if I make something it I make it with love and creativity.

So here I am making things ‘just because’ and I am loving it.

Crochet has again become a way to still my anxiety, a mindful meditation, a real joy and something I look forward to. One of the biggest bonus’ of making things for yourself is that you can just use whatever colours feel good to you and not worry if your crazy combinations will disappoint someone else. That’s what is happening with my work in progress at the moment, a zig zag blanket. I’m just choosing the colours I fancy and I am not afraid to be a bit bold “does that dark green *really* work here? Stuff it! Lets do it anyway, it’s my blanket so it doesn’t matter!” I can take my time too and just enjoy the process. I am happy. A happy little hooker 🙂

Edited to add the now finished article. I really love it.

Zig zag cot blanket

Zig zag cot blanket

Zig zag blanket on the little dark star's bed

Zig zag blanket on the little dark star’s bed

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Still creating crochet rainbows.

I just can’t stop.

I have also weirdly become a one project person. This is really out of character for me. I usually have lots of things all going on at once so I can flit between them as the mood or situation dictate, but not anymore. It is very odd.

Right now I am working on a rainbow cardigan for the little dark star, I saw a picture of the cardigan (in different colours) maybe nearly a year ago on Pinterest but couldn’t find a pattern. I tend to be obsessive about finding patterns for the things I fall in love with at first sight and I either eventually after many many accumulated hours of searching find the pattern, or I then set to work creating my own one to fill the need to create something similar. Both are satisfying processes because you end up looking at lots of things online you wouldn’t not have had you not been searching or you start a new journey of creating something and enjoying all the work of getting it right.

Here is the cardi so far

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The pattern specified “sport” yarn which doesn’t exist in the UK. From looking at conversion charts it isn’t quite 4 ply but that’s the nearest we have. I’ve worked in 4ply before and I don’t like it much for anything larger than bootees. I’m quite happy to whip up bootees in sock yarn or thinner if it makes them utterly beautiful! But bigger items take soooo long to grow with 4ply and the hook needed is quite small (unless you are going for a very lacy effect).

I’ve got lots of Stylecraft cheap and cheerful double knit in my stash so I decided to have a try with that and see what happened. I also decided to try and use a 4mm hook instead of the 3.0mm in the pattern instructions, I guess because the As We Go Blanket was the same yarn on a 5mm hook so right down to a 3.0mm felt like a long jump. Predictably the resultant first 7 rows of the yoke came out mahoosive. I knew it would really so I have no idea why I even bothered trying it!

It’s now being made on the size 3.0mm hook still with the double knit yarn (in bright glorious rainbow tones of course) and I know its coming up a big larger than the gauge but I’m happy with it.

This first photo is on the 4mm hook shortly before I measured the gauge and unravelled it all, the second is on the 3.0mm hook after starting the whole thing over again. Maybe you can see the difference? imageimage
I’m crocheting in the car on the way to the ferry port, being a car passenger is one of my rare chances for uninterrupted guilt free hooking!

The cardigan is meant to fit a child aged 3 and the little dark star has only just turned two but I’m intending to use it as a kind of over coat, a final layer in her outfit, till she fully grows into it and can wear it as just a cardi. Making something for her to wear is a MASSIVE gamble as ever since she could talk (and she was an early talker) I’ve had to allow her to mostly choose her own clothes, if she doesn’t like it she won’t wear it, simple as that. I know I’ve looked entirely bonkers holding up tops and things in shops asking what appears to be a very small child “do you like this one?” but I’ve tolerated the sometimes disparaging looks from others shoppers and saved myself a lot of money because I’ve minimised the amount of clothes that have ended up unworn. Not everyone is into the whole star signs stuff but if you are and I tell you she’s a Taurean, you might understand why I don’t even bother mounting a challenge over which clothes to wear. I pick my battles very carefully…..

I asked her to slip it on in its current state yesterday and joy of joys she did so very willingly then ran off with it on and refused to take it off. I had to watch an almost entire row unravel as she ran down our hall but I didn’t mind one little bit. I’m just super chuffed she seems to like it already.

Now before she wakes from her nap I’m going to sneak a another row or two of rainbow loveliness in.

Stylecraft special DK

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