Archives for posts with tag: Bohemian Rhapsody

November is here, already.   Remarkably I published my 11th crochet scarf design of the year last Saturday, the first of November.

Here is Swirling Seas Crochet Scarf, named because the glorious green silk yarn shimmers and the design reminds me of swirling green seas.

Swirling Seas

Swirling Seas

The silk yarn is one of my favourites from Willow Knits.   Anne of Willow Knits has very generously offered a 10% discount on the yarns in her shop on Etsy to anyone who purchases the pattern (details on the pattern).   She doesn’t just dye pure silk yarns, she has some lovely laceweight in silk/alpaca and silk/merino mixes.

And until midnight GMT on 16th November, if you go to Ravelry to buy this pattern you will get 50% off if you use the coupon code NOVEMBER.   Half price pattern from me and 10% off the yarn from Anne – Happy November!

I am delighted and surprised that I have managed to keep up with my personal challenge.  Only one month to go ……………but, although the December design is in my head, it hasn’t quite gone to plan.  The design hasn’t worked with any yarns I have chosen yet – other than the acrylic I swatched with.  Yes, readers I do sometimes swatch with acrylic yarn!  But fear not, I do not plan to make December in acrylic……….(ETA I have nothing against acrylic yarn; these days it is excellent quality and comes in an amazing range of colours, but I do have a preference for natural fibres!)  Yesterday I settled on the yarn and it is silk again, I have a lot of small quantities and will be using 20 colours in this.  I will have to be quick to make it, write the pattern and find a couple of people who will test it for me before December…….wish me luck!

The only thing that will stand in my way is a new design; yet another a challenge.  This time a challenge by Sigrun who is a member of my forum on Ravelry – she asked if I could design a crochet wrap pattern for her 2015 weather project.   It had to be something that could be used with a range of colours that she will use, and she suggested the lovely fine lace yarn that I used for Bohemian Rhapsody.   I do have a few scraps of that yarn left so I did some swatching and designed a motif that I think will work well.  This is now charted and ready for me to start making the sample….and I have been patiently awaiting the yarn.  Yes, it had to be the exact same yarn, and it landed on my doormat yesterday having travelled all the way from France.   I will have great difficulty deciding which of the 2 designs to work on – December or Weather?   I will just have to move between them.

I just managed to finish October instalment of the Kaleidoscope Mystery Blanket Club from the Natural Dye Studio.   Only 2 more instalments to do now, so hopefully I’ll have a new blanket by Christmas.    I have said it many times before, so I am repeating myself……I love this yarn!  The single pure merino is a dream to crochet with.  Here is October (sorry for the photo quality – I finished it at night and photographed inside with a flash).

October

October

I am looking forward to Amanda’s 2015 Blanket Club – Zodiac.   This is available in crochet and knitted versions.  I have an insight on the design and I know I am going to love putting the colours together.  The Zodiac motifs are larger than Kaleidoscope and less than 300 are needed for the blanket, so the project will be quite quick to make.  If you want to join in then you can sign up here.  This is the last blanket club that Amanda will be doing for a while, so sign up now before they sell up!

I’m off now to crochet something…….now do I choose December or Weather?

Happy crocheting xxxxxx

 

Last year I had an adventure in colour when I made Bohemian Rhapsody https://agrarianartisan.com/2013/12/08/a-little-bit-bohemian/

This year I have embarked on another adventure in colour – Kaleidoscope.

Kaleidoscope is a mystery crochet blanket club by Amanda Perkins of The Natural Dye Studio – you receive yarn at the start of each quarter and the pattern is released in instalments – one per month. If you are really quick you may be able to join the club for this year – http://www.thenaturaldyestudio.com/kaleidoscope—crochet-blanket-club-2014-391-c.asp

On 14th January this arrived:

Kaleidoscope - Godiva yarn quarter 1

Kaleidoscope – Godiva yarn quarter 1

It is Godiva – a pure merino 4 ply, it is luscious and perfect for blankets.

Within no time it was wound into little cakes and given its own home – a perfect little basket.

Kaleidoscope - a basket of cakes quarter 1

Kaleidoscope – a basket of cakes quarter 1

On 18th January it had become this:

Kaleidoscope - January

Kaleidoscope – January

Those little triangles are addictive, you want to begin a new one as soon as you finish the last one. You are itching to see what the colours will be and how it will sit in the design! Roll on 1st February when I can start the next instalment.

2014 will be a colourful year!

Happy crocheting x

It started on 2nd May 2013 with this:

Bohemian Rhapsody - the kit

Bohemian Rhapsody – the kit

Bohemian Rhapsody; a kit with 144 squares to make. I bought it because of the colours – 75 different colours. For me it was an experiment in colour.

I find squares boring (I’m a hexagon girl) so I decided to do a little every so often rather than bore myself with 144 squares. So I set a deadline – 8 squares every 2 weeks. Last week I decided to speed up – I had only 16 squares to go, the end was in sight – so I just raced away, worked fast so the squares didn’t bore me.

And this is the result:

Definitely Bohemian!

Definitely Bohemian!

Do I like it? Yes, I love it – the colours are quite spectacular.
Did I learn from it? Yes, I will be more daring with colour in future!
Did I enjoy it? Yes and no, like I say – I’m a hexagon girl! But now I do feel a little bohemian….

Happy knitting and crocheting xx

I have been playing with colour a lot in recent months. It was all sparked off by Bohemian Rhapsody, that design just made me want to explore colour more. And I have been studiously sticking to my plan of making one block of Bohemian Rhapsody every 2 weeks. I have now completed 11 – only another 7 to go.

Inspired, I bought 2 packs of The Natural Dye Studio’s Dazzle HT in rainbow colours when I visited Wonderwool Wales. Most of one pack became a subtle colour exploration with the Wild Diamonds Wrap:

Wild Diamonds Wrap

Wild Diamonds Wrap

And I am now working on something with the remaining 6 colours which may take a while, so I won’t share that with you yet.

But my most recent colour work has now been revealed. It is a cowl made with a complete rainbow of The Natural Dye Studio’s Godiva HT, which is the most lusciously soft single merino yarn. You can find the yarn here: http://www.thenaturaldyestudio.com/godiva-ht-4-plyfingering-yarn-356-c.asp

What made this colour work most special was that the yarn was a present, totally unexpected and very welcome. I was feeling a little low and Amanda sensed I needed cheering up, so she sent me a pack in the post! I can’t tell you how wonderful a gift it was – 10 mini skeins of the complete rainbow, it came at just the right time and really raised my spirits. I can’t thank Amanda enough. So, of course, it had to be made into something beautiful. This is the result:

Rainbow's End Cowl

Rainbow’s End Cowl

You can’t tell from the photo just how soft this yarn is. But you can tell it gives good stitch definition and it blocks well; my uneven knitting now looks quite passable!

It is now written as a pattern and can be found in my Ravelry, Craftsy and Etsy web stores.

All this colour work has really boosted my creativity, and yet another colour project is on my hook right now! So there will be a few more colourful reveals in the not too distant future.

Happy knitting and crocheting xxx

If you have ever attended one of my workshops you will have heard me say ‘granny squares are like marmite’ because you either love ‘em or loathe ‘em. But whatever your views it seems granny squares are firmly embedded in the crochet world. Some people have very strong feelings about them, and some could not care less. So which are you?

I confess I used to hate them and I mean really hate them. Why? Well I think squares can be quite boring and I think the repetition of the design is, frankly, unexciting. And I had this view for many years.

In my teens I made a granny square blanket, it went to university with me part finished and I finished it in my first year. It came in very useful! But then I moved right on. And, I’m sorry to say, so did the blanket.

When formulating this blog I decided to have a look at what granny squares I had made recently and I was a little surprised. It seems in the last few months I have been making quite a few grannies:

Flower power cushion:

DSCF0803

DSCF0802

Pin cushion:

DSCF0683

Granny purse:

DSCF0916

Perhaps age has mellowed my views, but now I can see they have their uses and to me their primary use is, to put it simply, colour! Perhaps it is the regularity of the design, but they certainly enable everyone to experiment with colour and somehow bring out the rainbow in all of us. My current experimenting with colour is via Bohemian Rhapsody, perhaps not a true granny but lots of granny elements:

DSCF0840

Now you can experiment with colour in lots of way with crochet, and I absolutely adore the beautiful motif designs by Amanda Perkins – I think they enable more alluring colour experimentation and her blankets are just exquisite, to me so much more pleasing to my eyes than any granny square could be. Have a look at her blog here: http://amandascrochetblog.blogspot.co.uk/2013/07/granny-squares.html she shows how beautiful crochet motifs can be.

The secondary use of granny squares is that they are simple, and thus they enable beginner crocheters to experiment with colour and make useful items with confidence. No-one is a beginner forever, so in time most crocheters do move on from grannies. However, I recognise that some do not – they love grannies so much they just keep making them! So be it – the world is big enough for everyone.

So I no longer hate grannies, I see they have their place in the crochet world. So this blog is part of a celebration of them – the ‘granny square blog tour’, which enables crocheting bloggers the world over to join in and have their say. If you have a blog and want to join in, then please comment on this discussion thread on Ravelry: http://www.ravelry.com/discuss/agrarian-artisan-designs/2646102/1-25#11

Next on the tour is the talented Tracey Todhunter, look out for her blog early next week: http://bakingandmaking.com/

Happy knitting and crocheting xxx

Did anyone watch The Great British Sewing Bee?   Well if you did you may have spotted Ann (the winner and my heroine!) wearing a fabulous crochet scarf in the penultimate episode, it was so light some people even thought it was printed on fabric.  The scarf is a design by Marylene Lynx called Bohemian Rhapsody, you can see it here: http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/bohemian-rhapsody-2

Now I am not a huge fan of granny squares.  You should know by now that I am a hexagon girl!  However, what I do like about granny squares is the opportunity you have to experiment with colour, and there are so many amazing colour experts out there who create the most fabulous grannies.   Marylene Lynx did just that with Bohemian Rhapsody, there are 75 colours in the design – the complete colour range in the very fine lace weight merino wool by Renaissance Dyeing http://www.renaissancedyeing.com/en/

I just had to make one!   

First I purchased the kit, which is available only from Renaissance Dyeing and comes from France.   It arrived in double quick time and I laid out all the colours on the table – they looked so beautiful I didn’t want to start!

 Image

Then I had to sort them into 3 groups

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Then I started the long laborious task of winding them into usable balls.  At first I did this on bits of paper as I was so impatient I wanted to start making the scarf.

Within a few days I had used 25 colours and made the first 8 squares – only another 136 to go!

 Image

In the top left of the photo you will see the yarn on bits of paper.

After talking to a friend, who was tempted like me and has bought the kit, I very quickly realised it would be better to use embroidery cards and organise them into an embroidery box, so I had to rewind most of them!

But it has been worth it.  I set a plan to do 8 squares a fortnight and I am a little ahead of that plan – here it is now, 48 squares complete – so a third of the way through.  

 Image

Look closely in the top right and you will see my yarns, now properly organised in a box!

It should be finished in time for Christmas!

 

Happy knitting and crocheting

xx

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