Archives for the month of: July, 2018

Having worked through all my stash over the last few months during my Use it or Lose it campaign inspired by Lynne Rowe, I now know just what I have in my stash and I know that less than 10% of my yarn stash has any man made content. Actually I have 9 skeins only and I am pretty pleased with this because I am also trying to eliminate plastic use in general.   So, knowing how little I now have in my stash, I think I have my plastic use in yarn under control – if not yet quite out of my life.  I plan to stop using any of this once this small stash of acrylic and nylon blends is extinguished. I can hear some sock knitters shouting that socks need nylon! But they don’t; there are some pretty tough hardwearing natural fibres out there such as this from Triskelion Yarns.

There are other ways I can use my yarn craft to help reduce plastic use in my life and waste in general. So today I am starting a series of blog posts about how I use yarn craft to do this – maybe it will help you too.

Remember this blog post when I showed some dishcloths and a few cosmetic pads that I made from cotton DK.  I am pretty proud of the fact that I haven’t bought any cosmetic  pads for over 8  years – I have likely saved almost 100 packets of cotton wool pads – that’s a lot of landfill and a lot of plastic packaging.

If you have cotton yarn and a hook – then it’s pretty easy and quick to make these and think of the difference this can make. The thing I love about these is whenever I have a little bit of dk cotton yarn left over I can just make one or 2 of these – so it’s using those bits of yarn that are so small they may end up in the bin.  That’s exactly what I did this week when I used up some cotton yarn remnants.

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The pattern is free and is available on Ravelry here, and it is available also on LoveCrochet and Craftsy.    I checked this morning and I have had thousands of downloads of this free pattern over the years.  And it made me think – just how much landfill and how much plastic has been saved by this little pattern?   So I did some estimating and, if only 1% of the people who downloaded the free pattern used it the same way as me, then I estimate it has saved at least 5000 packets of cotton wool pads – that’s amazing!   If everyone who downloaded it had done the same then that’s half a million!!!!! So my final estimate is somewhere between 5000 and half a million – not very accurate, but pretty inspiring whatever the number.

Just one little pattern has probably made quite a big difference, so if we all tried to do our bit to save waste and not use plastic think what we could achieve!

Happy crocheting xxxx

As promised in yesterday’s blog, here is the pattern for the little flower which I am calling Plume Flower.

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Materials
Kidsilk blend yarn in colours of your choice, see yesterday’s blog for details of what I used
4mm (US G/6) crochet hook
Yarn needle

Abbreviations
This pattern is written in UK crochet terms
St(s) – stitch(es)
Ch – chain
Ss – slip stitch
Dc – double crochet
Tr – treble
Dtr – double treble

Instructions
The flower is made in 4 parts which are sewn together.

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Centre petal
Start with a magic ring, but keep a tail of at least 15cm
Round 1: (2ch, 3tr in ring, 2ch, ss in ring) 5 times, pull ring tight, break yarn and fasten off.
Sew in your end but keep starting tail as you will need that later for assembling the flower.

Middle petal
Start with a magic ring
Round 1: (3ch, 3dtr in ring, 3ch, ss in ring) 5 times, pull ring tight, break yarn and fasten off.
Sew in your ends.

Outer petal
Foundation: 4ch and join into a ring with a ss
Round 1: 3ch (counts as 1tr), 14tr in ring, ss to 3rd ch from start [15tr]
Round 2: *3ch, 3dtr in each of next 2 sts, 3ch, ss in next st; repeat from * to end of round, break yarn and fasten off.
Sew in your ends.

Leaf
Foundation: 8ch
Row 1: 1dc in 2nd ch from hook and in each ch along [7dc]
Turn to work along the underside of your foundation ch
Round 2: *1ch (does not count as st), 1dc in first st, 1htr in next st, 2tr in next st, 3dtr in next st, 2tr in next st, 1htr in next st, 1dc in last st; turn to work back along top of Row 1 and repeat from * once, finish with a ss to the first dc, break yarn and fasten off.
Sew in your ends.

Assembly
Place all your pieces on top of each other, move then around until you are happy with their location.

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Using the long tail from the centre petal, sew all the pieces together. And you now have a little flower!

Happy crocheting xxx

Please note:  pattern and photographs are copyright © Valerie Bracegirdle

We’re having a heatwave here in the UK and that makes crochet and knitting sticky and tricky.  Some people recommend cotton yarns as best for hot weather crochet/knitting but I have found that kidsilk type yarns are easy to use in the heat and I have been using up lots of my long acquired and much loved kidsilk type stash.  I have crocheted over 1000m of this type of yarn in the last 6 weeks (yes, that’s over a kilometre!) and I think it really is perfect for hot weather.  I ran a quick CAL using it a few weeks ago and I have 2 new designs using it which are almost ready for publishing 😉   

So I was overjoyed that the lovely people at LoveCrochet asked me to review some yarn in their sale – Willow & Lark Plume, a kidsilk type yarn!

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So what is kidsilk type yarn?  Well it is made from a combination of silk and kid mohair.   I discovered it many years ago when Rowan seemed to be the only supplier of this type of yarn, but there are many more now.  Typically, it is laceweight yarn and comes in 25g balls of around 200m of yarn.   It has a lot of fluff (from the mohair) and is very lightweight.   The weight of it is one of the main reasons it is good for hot weather working – it isn’t heavy on your hands as you work it or on your knee as it grows.   If your hands are a bit damp it actually helps the use  because it dampens the fluffy fibres a bit.  This also makes it a little easier to frog if you make a mistake.

Willow & Lark Plume is described as ‘Barely there silk mohair’ on the label and I think that’s pretty accurate!   It is 70% super kid mohair and 30% mulberry silk and has 210m in the 25g ball.    It comes in  26 shades – the colours above are Poppy, Marmalade and Toffee.  And the best bit – it’s in the BIG SALE over at LoveCrochet/LoveKnitting at only £6.36 per ball! I’ve been playing with Plume quite a bit and I think there may be a new design in the making:

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Designing for me means doodling with the yarn, and frogging a fair bit, so I have tried several stitches and frogged (actually frogged A LOT).  I have found it is similar to Rowan Kidsilk Haze and Debbie Bliss Angel, but I think it is slightly softer and I haven’t had any issues with frogging which has proved very easy.  It is so similar that it would be easy to mix and match these yarns in one project if you like, which extends the potential range of colours in a project.  I tried that in this simple little flower

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The centre of the flower and the leaf are in Rowan Kidsilk Haze (colours Liquer and Jelly) and the other 2 petals are in Willow & Lark Plume (Poppy and Marmalade).  I think they work well together and you can’t tell any difference in the yarns.

I have 2 key tips for using this yarn, especially when crocheting.  The first is: you should check each row/round as you complete it because sometimes you can hook a bit of the fluff rather than the core yarn, and it is best to spot this early.  The second is: if you do need to frog pull the yarn gently and if the fluffy fibres have stuck use your hook or needle to gently break the fluffy join.

Which do I prefer?  That’s a difficult one to answer because they are so similar, but I think the Plume softness had the edge which just makes for slightly more comfort when hooking.

Would you like the pattern for my little flower?  I’ll pop that in my next post.  Meanwhile why not spoil yourself in the BIG SALE?

Happy crocheting xxx

I love stitch markers, I have A LOT but I can use only a few at a time.   BUT I LOVE THEM!   So I was overjoyed to find this free gift in Inside Crochet issue 103

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But what should I do with them?  The tropical fruit gave me an idea and I reached out some other lovelies which were recent Inside Crochet free gifts:

This is what I made:

Perfect for the GnT in this hot, hot weather in the UK, and for keeping those flies off!

If you would like the pattern, just message here and I’ll  publish it 🙂

Cheers!

Happy Crocheting (hic!) xxxx

 

It is just after noon on 1st July 2018 – and that means Twits Shawl is now published on Ravelry here.

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During the whole of this month £2 from the sale of this pattern will go to The Christie

But Twits Shawl isn’t the only product launched at noon today – over 250 other dyers, designers and makers are launching their products as part of Countess Ablaze’s Tits Out Collective – a positive response to plagiarism that will benefit so many charities.  This has been an exciting fortnight for everyone involved!  Please pop over to her page and discover what treats are available, support the initiative and raise some funds for great causes!

I’m off there right now!  But before I go I want to give special thanks to Deb Bramham for tech editing the pattern so quickly, and to Kate and Vicky who jumped in and tested in such a short space of time – without them this design wouldn’t be part of the initiative.

Happy crocheting xxx

#titsoutcollective

 

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