Saturday, 27 February 2010

I Made a Cardigan


Totally from scratch. My own design, my own maths to make the design work, inspired by the vague memory of a beautiful thing I saw in Galway in Ireland and wished I could have afforded to buy. Made Lily-sized to test out some of my ideas about construction.



The plan is to make something similar in my size with the gorgeous red British wool I bought just before we left London. Mine will have sleeves though, although I haven't decided how long, maybe three-quarters.

Ravelry page here (although it's pretty identical to this one :D)

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Monday, 8 February 2010

Crochet Placemats

A couple of months ago, I bought a bunch of Anchor Magicline cotton yarn on clearance. The pack came with 10 balls and a crochet pattern sheet for $9.95. I really liked the look of the placemat on the cover and so bought enough to make a set of placemats. Unfortunately, I have very little experience with crochet and kinda suck at it, so my attempt at following the pattern came out like this:

I guess, in the grand scheme of things, it's not horrendous. But I had envisioned a beautiful set of colourful placemats that will really fit in with the look of our new house (still not going up yet - trust me, you'll know when it is) and this just doesn't cut it. The main thing I disliked, other than the dodginess of my skills, was the way the colours didn't so much stripe as clump.

That one placemat sat incomplete for about 6 weeks, while I finished Christmas gifts and then worked on some other projects. I finally decided I needed to look at it again when I wanted a portable/brainless project that wasn't knitting (too hot to knit and my attempt at socks, the one thing that may be bearable to knit in the heat, is also a big fail). I tried a circle. It didn't lay flat. I tried another one. I thought my idea of making circular placemats was genius, afterall, plates are round. I don't have enough experience of crochet to make a flat circle, apparently, especially given I am anal about things like increases and they have to be uniform or my brain can't handle it. I needed a different approach. Here are my failed circles:

Meanwhile, I've been finding more Aussie crafty blogs to read (any suggestions much appreciated, especially if they're Sydney-based) and Pip over at Meet me at Mikes has been running a granny square intro course. I didn't want to make standard looking granny squares, but I did figure I could do something similar, starting in the centre and working my way out, increasing at the corners. The only problem was, the point where I was jumping up to the next row created a funny line thing. See:

There's probably a way to do this better, but I couldn't work it out. Then, another brainwave* occurs - I could do a spiral but make it like a granny square, increasing at the corners by stitching into the corner, making 2 chains and then stitching into the corner again. I didn't quite end up with a perfect square - one side has one more stitch than the other three - and I'm not confident I'll be able to recreate however I got it started, but I like it enough that I am now happy to pull out all the mistakes and attempt to make a matching set. I just have to decide what size to stop it at...

*probably not a new idea at all, but in case you hadn't worked it out, I'm very much winging this whole crochet thing. I don't even know if I am doing single or double crochet, to be honest. Apologies to any serious crocheters out there for any offence.

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