Tag Archives: Pattern

A different way of cutting

Did I tell that I have recently had a birthday? Birthdays means treats and this year it meant that I finally got my hands on:

A rotary cutter

A rotary cutter

I first heard about this about a year ago. I was not convinced until I tried to cut out lycra. It was not easy as the material is so stretchy and slippery.

As you can see I have finally managed to get around to having a play.

Lets just say I love it. It is so sharp, it cuts through the 2 layers of lycra with ease. I am able to cut accurately as the material stays flat on the table, you just run the blade around the edge of the pattern. No lifting, stretching or moving.

The only slight issue that I had was not meeting up at the corners quite, leaving the piece joined to the main material.

IMG_1254Can you see on the top right? This is easy enough to rectify – you just chop it but it is a bit annoying!

When done properly this is all you are left with - a clear hole in the shape of the peice.

When done properly this is all you are left with – a clear hole in the shape of the piece.

Oh and you can see how it also cuts through the paper pattern a bit too! 😉

As to what I am making …..more on that another time. I simply didn’t get enough done to show you today.

Today is the day!

My 2nd crochet pattern has been published! Looking at the other patterns that are included in this latest issue, ( no. 2) I really cannot quite believe it as there are some beautiful patterns included.

The theme this issue is WOODLAND WHIMSY. The projects really capture this with the warm, colours that we associate with autumn: browns, rusts, oranges etc. Not all muted though as there are some pieces with a real POP of colour.

Maple Falls Sweater

This is one, a tunic with a beautiful detail designed by Joanne Scrace.

Kissiae Stole

This is another. A stole by Essie Doyle. This has a lovely texture as well as colour.

The photographs are all stunning, as we are coming to expect, taken by the multi-talented Kat Goldin, who also designed some mittens and is the co-producer of the publication.

So what about my pattern? Well you will remember this teaser from earlier this month?

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No-one managed to guess the item itself …….

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It’s a scarf!!! The yarn I used was Manos Silk Blend which is a dream to work with. The colours remind me of a dappled autumnal avenue of trees. (Which also happens to full of ‘my’ colours :))

If you are a crocheter then do pop over and have a look at the patterns – they are beautiful. They come in both US and UK terms (UK coming soon). If you are a knitter then do not despair as the website suggests that there may well be a ‘Knitting Project’ coming in the future.  I would like to thank Joanne Scrace and Kat Goldin for all their hard work on this project (and esp to Kat for allowing me to use her wonderful photographs).

Finally I would like to thank all of you reading this, for letting me share some of my excitement with you 🙂

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You learn something new everyday!

After a fair bit of persuasion I am beginning to consider myself to be a fairly competent crocheter. This week I have had cause to question this. I started a pattern fairly confidently. I counted the stitches as required and found  that I didn’t have the  correct number. I told myself that I was tired when I did this and ripped it back. I started again. This time it was wrong again. I studied the pattern carefully, looked at the crochet and decided that I must be wrong and ripped it back again. HUMPH!

Source

After a while I decided to ask my esteemed friend and designer Joanne Scrace. It turns out that I hadn’t got it wrong at all. Any of the times. (Extra large HUMPH.) It is simply a misunderstanding. The pattern, (for argument’s sake) had a row of UK trebles on one round and then on the next round you put another treble on top of the previous one but this time adding a chain in  between each one. When counting the stitches I had counted them all, chains and everything. Apparently I was wrong. The chains are not counted as a stitch. I had no idea. I do now though and will remember this for evermore.  As I always say, you have to make mistakes in order to learn.

If you fancy learning more useful tips, why not head over to Handmade Harbour and catch up with all the crafty goings on?

Finished Object (nearly!)

This week I have been cracking on and making a real effort to crochet each and every day. I think I managed it 🙂 I certainly feel better for it and have something to show for it…..Yippee 🙂

My sock number 2!

My sock number 2!

There is only one problem. I ran out of yarn with about 2 rows to go. 😦 How annoying is that?

Can you see.

Can you see?

As I am wearing them at home and no one will see them does it matter and do I leave them like this or should I invest in another (fairly) expensive ball of wool? Deep down the perfectionist in me would say yes, you need to finish them properly but the tight me would say that it doesn’t matter…..what would you do?

I must say a huge thank you to DaniellaJoe for these socks as she hosted a CAL and got me going. I may well have reached my destination slightly behind everyone else but the detours were well worth it. (Anyone who reads her blog will understand the meaning behind this.)

Crocheting everyday has also meant that I have had time to swatch another very exciting, top-secret project in this yarn:

YarnYarnThat is the most I can let you see…..

I do hope that everyone else has had a great week, with a lot of crafting time fitted in. Why not pop over to handmade harbour and see?

🙂

 

 

 

So how long should it be?

I have been working really hard on a crochet scarf this week. It is not a hard project to work . I have lovely yarn to use and it grows quite quickly. It has been a nice project to sit and do whilst watching Wimbledon.

I said that it grows quickly and it does when it comes to completing the pattern repeat. As for the overall length however I would have to disagree.

When I started off I thought 2 skeins would be enough (this is about 100 yards of  yarn ). As the end of the second skein came my thoughts were along the lines of:

hmmm not quite long enough, maybe I will do the third.

I have now finished the third skein and am still not sure that it is long enough! (Yes even with the required blocking.) I was a little disappointed – you know that feeling you get when you think that you have finished something? You have worked really hard to get it finished only to find that you haven’t?

So what is the correct length for a scarf?

As you would expect. There is no correct answer as personal preference comes into play and different styles also have a bearing on it.


 

The only advice that I could find is:

The general rule is the scarf should be about the same length as the person.

Go-on admit it, how many of you will be going to lie down next to one of your scarves in  the near future? (I have already had a go myself if that helps?)

The things that you never think about despite using them all the time! Have you ever had a situation like this?

With it being Sunday I am now going to head over to Handmade Harbour to catch up with all the lovely crafty blogs over there. Do come and join in. 🙂

Crochet Book Giveaway

I am thrilled to be have been given a new crochet book to look at called Hip Crochet by Natalie Clegg. Even more exciting is that Natalie is local to where I live. (I love a local celeb.) If you live anywhere near the Cambridge area you too can meet her on Saturday April 27th at the Sheep Shop in Cambridge at 3.30pm. She will be signing copies of her book and answering any questions you may have. I also have heard a whisper that she is designing a special pattern for the event too!

So now about the book starting off with the author:

Who is Natalie Clegg:

She is an interior designer and sounds to be full of life:

I absolutely love my life and love to try new things – so I am always exploring and learning.

Taken from her blog: here

She obviously loves her job designing interiors:

I love interiors – I would love to see every building and space made beautiful – even the unused ones.

Taken from her blog: here

Probably the thing that stands out most to me is that she is not afraid of colour. YAY 🙂

THE BOOK

Taken from Ravelry

Hip Crochet is her first Crochet book and is full of fun patterns for the home. There are a real mix of patterns in this book:

Taken from the Ravelry Page here click to see the rest.

All in all there are 25 patterns ranging from the useful (Graffiti Doorstop) to the purely decorative (Ice Cream Sundae).

Hip crochet includes fun crochet projects to give your home a touch of colour, with patterns to suit all tastes and levels of ability.

Taken from the ‘blurb’

There is a refreshingly different selection of patterns in this book. The range is such that I am pretty sure that there is a project in this book that will appeal to most people. Quite an achievement. The range of techniques is broad so it is a great book for people relatively new to crochet or for those looking to expand their skills.

Organisation and essentials

The book starts off giving some really good tips (my favourite is using a notebook to make notes about each project.) There are also conversion charts for the sizes of hooks and the differences between us and uk crochet terms. Other features to note are:

  • it is written in  UK terminology
  • it includes charts where appropriate as well as written
  • it has great photos – at least 1 full-page photo per project
  • it includes a variety of techniques – in the round, rows, amigurumi, felted, join-as-you-go and Jacquard Crochet Diagrams
  • many projects give ideas of how to vary the pattern
  • Natalie gives her own little tip on each project
  • There is a section on basic crochet techniques – how to
  • There is a section on other techniques (including a recipe to make your own starch)
  • There is a glossary of terms.

My main criticism would be that there is no indication on the difficulty of the pattern.

A Trial Run

I am however not done. I feel it is only fair that I try a project out. After all the patterns may be so badly written that they are impossible to follow (unlikely I know but ……)

I had a go at a Cache Pot:

Cache Pot

I found the instructions to this easy to follow and I ended up with a really cute little bowl which is surprisingly sturdy. It is a quick project to complete – great for gifts.

GIVEAWAY TIME!

Now for the exciting bit. I have a copy of the book to giveaway – not only that but it will be a signed copy! (either you can come along to the Sheep shop and I will give you the book then and there so you can get it signed yourself or I will get it signed and send it to you later!) Excited? All you have to do is leave me a comment below telling me why you would like to win a copy of the book.  I shall be doing the draw on Friday night at 8pm.

Oh and one more thing. Claire over at Clairebellemakes also has a copy to give away so why not pop over to her blog and see what she has to say about the book as well as doubling your chance to win yourself a copy? Good luck to everyone who enters 🙂

If you like crafty blogs why not follow me over to Handmade Harbour to have a look at a lot more lovely crafty blogs?

ps: This week it is the 4th Annual Knitting and Crochet Blog week where bloggers are challenged to write a blog post every day following a plan. I shall be joining in. If you would like to then pop over here to find out more.

Testing!

You may remember a couple of weeks ago I was saying that I had a project I was doing that needed a lot of knitting? I was unable to share this project with you because it was a test knit – I was testing it before it became a published pattern.

So what is a test knit?

It is what it says on the tin. Testing to make sure that the pattern works. I suppose it is a bit like proof reading. You knit the pattern in the hope that you pick up on any small mistakes there are. When you are writing something important you check it, review it and check it over numerous times. Unfortunately this is no guarantee that there are no mistakes lurking in there somewhere. You are so familiar with it that your brain doesn’t recognise any mistakes anymore. There are ‘Tech Editors’ that will check patterns for you but some people still like people to test their patterns. It is also a way to get your object knitted in a different colour without having to knit it yourself.

So what do I get from it?

Usually you get the pattern for free (yes I am a bit of a cheep skate) and you get the garment to keep. You also get the experience of knitting things that you may not normally knit thus expanding your repertoire. This test knit taught me that there are a few differences between UK and US knitting terms – something that I had not realised before.

So what is it?

Well …it will be a beautiful shawl. Unfortunately I was unable to meet the deadline of this project – it was last Sunday but I had knitted enough to get a good idea of the pattern and was able to give the lovely designer some feedback. Even more unfortunate is that it is still not finished. I really hate to let people down but this is one knit that is taking longer than usual to knit up. That said it will be so worth it.

This will block out and stretch out much more giving the pattern much more definition.

This will block out and stretch out much more giving the pattern much more definition.

It is a beautiful lacy pattern and lovely to knit with enough interest to keep it interesting. The cast on was a new one for me and one that I love. It gives a beautiful edging without going back and adding one later.

© Christina Loman, 2013

See isn’t it gorgeous? You can see the lovely edge on the left and the way that it blocks out beautifully. Should you wish to knit it (and who wouldn’t?) you can get the pattern from here. If you would like to read more about it then see the blog post here. On the blog you will also be able to see more of her amazing patterns.

Test Knit number 2

Well crochet to be exact. This week I was a little distracted and offered to test an amugurami pattern for Joanne (notsogranny). This was a quick, easy project and very fun to make:

cute isn't he?

cute isn’t he?

He started out as a rabbit – then a bear. Finally he turned into a mouse.

See, I even did a tail!

See, I even did a tail!

I have to say that I can really see how this could become really addictive. I shall definitely be making others!

The really interesting and unexpected thing about this happened when I put a picture of him on my Facebook page on Friday night. It has turned out to be my most popular update ever. I have 58 lovely followers to whom I am very grateful for their interest. This got 220 views!! When I put the tail view on, that one got 109! Completely amazing. I have no idea why except that he is obviously cute. Thanks to Joanne for her pattern!

So you see that testing things is a great way to have a go at new techniques as well as a few unexpected benefits too. I recommend it to anyone.

Yet again it is a cold, snowy evening – perfect for snuggling up and having a good old read of lots of amazing blogs. Do follow me over to Handmade Harbour and have a look – there is not a lot else to do is there?

Hope you all have a lovely week. Thanks for visiting 🙂

PUBLISHED!!!!

I am sure that most of you will have noticed how crochet is currently undergoing a bit of a resurgence. Crochet classes are filling up within days of being publicized and new magazines dedicated to crochet are being released. Crochet is no longer being squeezed in along side knitting – it is becoming a craft in its own right.

If you knit  (and even if you don’t) you will be aware of the many places where you can find knitting patterns. They are all over the web on countless sites and yarn and craft shops usually have a good selection to choose from. When it comes to crochet however there is not usually the same choice. Crochet also has a bit of a reputation linked to the 70’s and there are quite a few patterns around that reflect this.

        

(Yes these really are from the 70’s – so much orange!)

Now please don’t get me wrong, there are some patterns that just need a bit of updating (colour, yarn etc) but Joanne Scrace (notsogranny) and Kat  Goldin saw an opportunity in this and went about setting up The Crochet Project:

The aim of The Crochet Project is to promote beautiful, modern crochet patterns to the online market.

They have both worked very hard to bring all the good  things you expect from modern knitting patterns to the world of crochet. The patterns are all written in the same consistent style, the yarn is beautiful, the patterns contemporary and the photographs stylish.

I realise that I am writing as if I am selling this idea. In a way I am but I really wanted to share with you all the background behind this project. I am not being paid directly for doing this and the opinions are my own BUT …..

I AM ONE OF THE ‘DESIGNERS’ FEATURED IN THEIR FIRST ISSUE!!

Loud enough? Can you tell that I am excited?

Back to the beginning:

In October I saw the mood board that they had put together. The title was Botanicals and was all floral and summer picnics. I decided that I had an idea that may just work and set about making a prototype:

Here it is - my protoype.

Here it is – my prototype.

Being my first submission I really wanted to know whether it would work and also to get some idea of how I could write the pattern down.

A close up of the flower.

A close up of the flower.

I included the flower as a bit of detail and to link in with the floral theme.

Roll on to December and I received the wonderful news that my pattern had been chosen as one of the ten from the first edition. WoW. I was really shocked and very unprepared as to what it would involve.

When doing a piece like this you get sent the yarn – the suppliers will usually provide it as a way to get some publicity. Unfortunately the yarn for my project got held up and I only received it just before the deadline date. Luckily Joanne and Kat were very nice and realistic, giving me enough time to get the project made without any pressure.

The yarn I was sent.

The yarn I was sent.

Isn’t it lovely? It is merino, really lovely and soft  – great to work with too. I had been asked to make the pattern in three child sizes and three adult. Fine in theory! I only had to make one size for the photo shoot.

The making of the gloves was not too hard. The writing of the pattern harder. Poor Joanne must have had a bit of a shock when she saw what I had done. She was ever so kind however and I had another go at getting the format correct.

Then, finally on Friday the whole thing was published. I had always said that I didn’t want my name and photograph out on the internet….it soon became clear that this was one rule to be broken!

So here is the finished mitt.

So here is the finished mitt.

I think that they have a real vintage feel and I managed to get some beads in with the flower! Wouldn’t they be perfect for a bridesmaid or a ball?

If you would like to see what the other patterns are like and see the proper ‘professional’ photographs then do head over to the  website here.

Thank you so much in indulging me in the blowing of my own trumpet. I am very passionate about this project and yes, I would have been even if I hadn’t been accepted! Joanne and Kat have spent a lot of time on this but I truly believe that it has been worth it! Now onto the next submission – a woodland theme this time. 😉

As always I shall be heading over to Handmade Harbour to catch up on the lovely things that everyone else has been up to this week. I am thinking that there will be some Easter ideas cropping up?

Snowflake Bunting

Isn’t it odd how habits stick? There is no Handmade Monday this week but because it is Sunday I am still going to write a post. I simply cannot help myself!

For the last few weeks I have been busy crocheting snowflakes with wire. You have seen this snowflake before:

Wire Snowflake

This is a nice and quick snowflake designed by Notsogranny (the pattern can be found here). The other snowflakes I made are much bigger and came in a supplement from Simply Knitting. (You can find the patterns here.) They also take longer than the first one.

Wire snowflake 2

xmas2012 022

xmas2012 023

So there you have it. I made three large ones, each one different. I also had two silver and two copper notsogranny ones. I strung them all together and hung them on my mantle piece.

I really like the way the wire catches the light and 'sparkles'.

I really like the way the wire catches the light and ‘sparkles’.

So there you have it – a different sort of bunting for Christmas. Have you made any Christmas bunting or have you been too busy making presents for people?

I wish you all a very merry Christmas :).

A Quick Update

A while ago you may remember that I had a dilemma with some knitting that I was doing. I had made a mistake which in order to correct meant ripping back about half of the work I had already done. Many of you gave me your opinion on this and, after much procrastinating I decided to rip it back. In the event it only took me just over one evening to re-knit the rip back. It was so worth it as I now know that there is no mistake on the piece.

This is it - a shrug called Angel wings.

This is it – a shrug called Angel wings.

I really love it. It is warm, fits over most things and looks amazing (even if I do say so myself!). The pattern is in the current issue of Yarnwise magazine and more info can be found here.

A close up of the cabling that forms the wings.

A close up of the cabling that forms the wings.

It is a quick knit with enough pattern to make it interesting without being too difficult. I recommend it.

Giveaway:

I won a giveaway this week (YAY). A huge thanks to Joanne Scrace (Notsogranny) and Artesano. It was to celebrate the release of Artesano silk blend book 2. Joanne has two projects published in this book and was giving away the book and the yarn to knit one of the patterns. To enter I had to decide which project I would knit and which colour way I would use. That was really easy for me – the Triogona pattern (by Joanne naturally) in the colour that she knit it in for the pictures. For those of you not able to follow the link here is the yarn:

You know a yarn is posh when it comes in hanks, not balls!

You know a yarn is posh when it comes in hanks, not balls!

It is a colour made for me being a very fair coloured person. I think that I am going to have great fun knitting this over the holidays. The yarn feels absolutely divine. I am such a lucky, lucky girl 🙂 (sighing with pleasure!) It just shows that it is worth entering the giveaways on blogs as you never know if you may win. 🙂