Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Hip to Hook June 2009

Despite the fact that yesterday was the first day of the school holidays, I had to leave the girls with Bren and race off to the post office to swap the little piece of paper with my name on it for this exciting package.

About a month ago when scouring the internet for any information I could find about crochet, I came across Sarah London's crochet club Hip to Hook. Once a month you pay your membership and Sarah sends you a package containing some wool, some useful crochet information and a pattern of the month.

It seemed mine had arrived.

Once I had the parcel in my hand I dashed to the closest cafe. I couldn't risk going home and having to share the contents.

Inside I found two balls of wool one cream and one lolly pink, neither of which are colours I usually work with or choose but I'm experimenting with a new craft and I have to be open minded.

The first pattern I found is for a bicolour octagon.
The instructions are easy to follow with the added extra of step by step photos on flickr.

I was thrilled to find that I could complete the octagon easily.

I really enjoyed crocheting this new shape but I'm not really sure what I would ever do with them because I think that if you joined several together you would be left with diamond shaped gaps between them.

There was also a pattern for a square within a square to utilize all the the scraps of yarn.

This too was easy to follow and make.

I've had enough of these colours for now. 
I think I might make both these shapes up later on with coloured wool that is more to my choosing.

Thanks Sarah, it's been such fun!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Disaster with Alpaca Wool

When I first learnt to crochet, I was so desperate to get going that I went to the one wool shop in town and bought the only wool they stocked in the colourway I was looking for.  Not really knowing much about wool types, ply or that there could be different wools appropriate for different projects, I guess I was lucky that it all worked out. 

The wool I bought was soft, the colours bright and it was a pleasure to work with.  The end result was Jazzy's granny rug.

After I'd stitched all the squares together I visited a wool shop in Melbourne and decided to buy the wool for my next blanket.

The shop was enormous and had walls and walls of wool.

I was completely overwhelmed and couldn't make any decisions.

After several laps of the shop Bren had had enough and it was time to decide.

The alpaca wool seemed to be the softest and have a lovely selection in the blue/green colourway that my eldest daughter favoured.

I laid them all out on the floor, changing the order, adding and subtracting colours and then paid up and left.

As soon as I came home I opened up one of the my crochet books, Crochet edited by Katy Bevan and started hooking hexagons. 

I think I probably knew what was going on after I finished the first hexagon but I was so pleased with how lovely it was to crochet this new shape that I ignored it.

After I had made the second and joined it to the first I pinned them to my curtains so I could see them properly. 

There was no denying it. It was awful. The wool was hairy and the colours bled into each other and seemed muted. And I think it might even be itchy.

I made two more hexagons and that was it. I could not go on.

I think I got a bit of a shock because choosing colors was something that until then I had found quite easy.

But one thing I know for sure is that this is not the look I am after.

So now I have a bag of wool that I don't like and don't know what to do with. Maybe if I put it away for a while something or someone will find a need for it someday. But in the meantime I think I'll ask for advice or stick to the wool I know works for me.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Jazzy's Granny Rug

This is it, Jazzy's granny square rug, my first ever crochet project!

After learning the basic crochet stitches off youtube and various other websites my friend Beck printed out and gave me the Summer Garden Granny Square tutorial off Attick24's blog.

It's a great beginner tutorial with all the steps and stitches clearly explained in words with amazing, clear photos for every step.

In the beginning it took me a whole night and much unpicking to complete one square.

I went for a drink with Beck once during my first week of this rug and we had to take turns, one of us would talk and the other would crochet. It was impossible for me to concentrate on both tasks at once.

But after a while I got the hang of it and couldn't stop. And I could multi task which really helps when justifying my new addiction.

I went back to the wool shop two more times and ended up with 90 crocheted squares.

I could have gone on for longer but Bren reminded me that I am very good at starting projects but I often lose momentum and don't complete them.

I slip stitched them together because that way I could use the crochet hook instead of a needle.

I like the effect but I think next time I would join as I go so there's not such a distinct back and front.

A few rows of double around the edges tied it together and really changed the look of the whole rug.

At this stage my pink princess was actually allowed to start snuggling her almost finished rug.

And I had a bit of a break from it.

The colours were so intense and I couldn't see it clearly any more.
This was also an excuse for some new wool and a new project.

Jazzy was sick yesterday and dragged the rug around with her all day.

I fell in love with it all over again when I saw it in the car, at the fruit shop and the cafe and have got out my needle to darn all those ends in.  There are zillions of them, hopefully next time I'll be disciplined enough to darn as I go.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

A new blog.

Hey there and welcome to my new blog Foxs Lane.

So why the new blog?

I guess I just feel like there's more to say than I can say in The Daylesford Organics blog.

The farm is a huge part of who I am but I also have my family, my husband and my three girls, and my craft.

My craft is hard to define as it changes all the time.

My main love and inspiration is textiles, but I'll really give almost anythig a go. Anything except ceramics as the feel of dry clay on my hands makes me cringe.

At the moment my main love is crochet.

I am very new to this form of stitching. I think I started about two months ago when quite a severe addiction to soduko and spider solitaire threatened to take over my life. I'd been interested in crochet for a while and then finally took the plunge by checking out some videos on youtube.
And that was all it took. I adore it and am now hooking away at every spare moment I get.

It's perfect for sitting besides the girls in the bath, at school assembly or in front of the fire at night.

Having always been a sewing machine person, I love how portable crochet is. And that I don't have to sit at my desk with my back to the rest of the house.

I am getting rather frustrated at the different terminologies used in US and UK patterns and find myself unpicking a lot of dc's that are meant to be sc's and vica versa.

So far I have almost finished a granny square rug and many, many flowers but I feel the need to make something really practical soon. Something like a beanie or a vest I think.

I am inspired by the whole crafty blog world would love to be a part of it.

I'd love to be able to write the type of blog that inspires me. Colourful, interesting and full of pictures of my latest projects and obsessions.

It will also be great to keep a record of my projects and thoughts.

So there's my first post.

Let's hope that it's the first of many and that it inspires me (and possibly you) to create more.

Oh and I know that this post is full of photos of things I have sewn rather than crocheted, but I promise you many, many photos of crochet projects in the near future.

Visit my other blog.