What an exciting week it has been for me! First the MCAL on my Ravelry forum is going better than I had expected. I confess I was really worried about this MCAL, I wanted to make it easy enough for anyone to try but interesting enough for the mystery element. So I planned it in small chunks, and actually those small chunks really help to keep the mystery going. None of them are complicated themselves, but as you add them together it becomes more interesting. Best of all for me, everyone seems to like it and they are sharing progress on the Ravelry forum, even speeding away each time I publish a new clue! I do hope they like the final design… but in case they don’t I do have several options available …… ooooo, mustn’t give the game away!
The last clue of the MCAL is out later this week. Meanwhile, here’s some progress photos by kind permission of some of the MCALers – Sigrun, Elaine and Kerry:
I am so pleased that everyone has chosen lots of colour, the colours vary from bright to subtle, but are all very beautiful and I think will look excellent in the final design.
And here’s another photo I have to share from (another) Kerry, she hates sewing ends (I guess we all do) but by issuing this in chunks she has the opportunity to do sewing in between clue. Here is her Sunday morning production line:
Also I have been busy on another major collaboration with Amanda Perkins of The Natural Dye Studio. Those who know Amanda know that she does the most beautiful crochet designs and recently has concentrated on some very special, unique blanket designs. This year she designed the Kaleidoscope mystery crochet blanket club, which you will have seen on this blog. Here is my August instalment, with apologies for the photo quality (it is very dull here today, difficult to get good light for photos):
Although Amanda designs crochet she is very aware that many of her customers knit. And she decided she would like to give them the opportunity to join the Zodiac club. Yes, this means she wanted to have a knit design as well, so she asked me if I could help. Of course, I jumped at the chance and several weeks later (and many swatches ranging from very easy to extremely complex!) we have found a knit design that fits well, or rather a component of the design because the overall design is the same whether knit or crochet but the components are different (naturally). I can’t give too much away but I am extremely excited about this! Very soon you will be able to find more details on The Natural Dye Studio’s website. I will post a link when it is available.
I did a lot of swatching to get this design right, and I really didn’t think I would enjoy knitting motifs as much as I do crochet (I think I am addicted to crochet motifs!), but I was very surprised at how much I enjoyed this. So much that when I hit on the final design I wanted to make more ……….. and more. I sense a new addiction taking hold.
Naturally one collaboration leads to another, and there is something else we are working on which is very exciting. I can’t reveal more at the moment, but it will be just as exciting!
So I have had a very exciting week, I hope yours has been equally exciting and enjoyable.
This weekend is one of those long weekends in the UK which result from having a Bank Holiday – yay! I have had a lovely quiet weekend because my husband has been away partaking of his hobby on a racetrack at Castle Donington. So what do I do when he is away – well this weekend I planned absolutely nothing!
It is glorious to be able to wake up and do just what you like with no-one getting under your feet. Apart from the cat, that is. So we (the cat and I) have done just as we like. Naturally this involves a little crafting (crochet) but it also includes a little gardening (pruning), rather a lot of tidying (I have moved my craft room around for the 3rd time in a year – I think I need a bigger room), an unusual amount of cleaning (I cleaned all my kitchen cupboards and threw out lots of items that were chipped, cracked or just plain useless) and plenty of RnR.
Ok, I confess the crochet wasn’t exactly ‘little’. The May instalment of the Kaleidoscope mystery blanket came out this weekend, so I spent Saturday evening in front of the television watching all 6 episodes of the BBC’s Pride and Prejudice back to back, with crochet hook in hand and cat cuddling next to me (except on several occasions when said cat decided the yarn was the best play thing in the world, even the decoy ball of acrylic I always have handy wasn’t good enough for her!). Sunday night wasn’t quite so intense but did involve crochet, as did Monday (a bit in the morning and another bit in the afternoon) – so I have finished May.
Part of this drive to finish May was because I was expecting the Janie Crow mystery blanket instalment on 5th May (why oh why did I challenge myself to do 2 mystery blankets?) and had to finish Kaleidoscope before it came out. Except I made a mistake – the next Janie Crow instalment comes out on 8th May – so I have 3 days yet. Ah well, maybe I should do some knitting………!
I’ve been waiting for sunshine. All we have had in the UK this last week is haze and pollution. But I wanted sunshine because I wanted to share a photo with you – a photo of my Summer Garden Throw.
The forecast is for rain tomorrow, and Sunday and maybe Monday. And I can’t wait anymore………
So here it is:
For me this is a throw not a blanket, because it is airy and not warm enough for real winter snuggling. It is for summer in the garden.
Actually, I am pretty pleased with this photo. I thought I needed full sun but these rainy clouds didn’t hinder the beauty of the throw. I think the summer flowers have their own inner sunshine.
The Summer Garden Throw is my first magazine published throw/blanket. As you know, I don’t often submit to magazines, so this was quite an event for me. And I have to say Inside Crochet did me proud – I am a cover girl! Well, at least my throw is! And they have produced a beautiful spread in the magazine. If you can, please buy one – if you can’t then have a look here : http://www.insidecrochet.co.uk/blog/revealed-issue-52-s-cover
I was also very pleasantly surprised to see that Lucy at Attic24 is starting a new blanket here: http://attic24.typepad.com/weblog/2014/04/jollying-to-the-sea.html, with lovely sea inspired colours. This is quite a change for her – she usually does very bright colourful blankets. But as I mentioned before, I am starting to see a subtle change in the crochet world – less bright and (in my eyes) more beautiful
I like to think I use a subtle colour palette in what I do. If you saw my home youwould see it is fairly modern with plenty of oak and neutral shades everywhere – just odd splashes of colour for accent. But I do love colour in many things, just as long as it isn’t glaring out at me from every corner. So I am not afraid to use colour provided it fits in my world.
You won’t find much multi colours in anything I make or design – just look at my Ravelry project and design pages to see how I use colour!
However, my thoughts have made me reflect on the blankets I have made over the years.
The first blanket I ever made was a granny in shades of blue, mainly pale blue. It served me well at uni. It was thrown out years ago – so I don’t have a photo of it. Believe me when I say it was subtle, not glaring.
The second blanket I made was a small knitted hap blanket – beige with red highlights.
Then came Starry Night by Amanda Perkins, I made it in grey, silver and 2 shades of dark blue.
The fourth blanket I made was another design by Amanda Perkins called Lily. This time I started to use more colour – I wanted lots of red – and that is what I got!
The next blanket (knitted) was back to my neutral shades.
Then no 6 was a baby blanket in ice cream colours
And then a small lap blanket in soft blue, green, cream.
Then I made a granny style blanket in lots of colour – quite a change for me! It is confined to the spare bed and is very practical. But I do quite like the colour pick-me-up as I walk in that room.
I have also made 2 other blankets recently, I’m not going to tell you about them yet, other than to say one is ‘nicely’ colourful and the other is back to my more subtle colour palette.
Now all of this has made me think about the world of crochet. There are so many fields of crochet in the world from the delicate old Irish crochet used frequently in crisp white doillies to the bright colourful world of simple but effective granny squares, with a myriad of styles, taste and colour inbetween. The recent growth in the crochet world has been predominantly in the colourful granny area – after all it is easy to see the impact of colour and grannies are quite quick and easy to make when you are just getting going.
Just recently I have started to sense a slow change in that colourful granny world, maybe, just maybe, it is growing closer to my preferences of subtlety. I think it is about time it should.
Personally, in the world of colourful crochet my preference is always in the direction of Amanda Perkins, her use of colour is exceptional. It is so much more sophisticated than the granny world. If we are to use colour in the world of crochet it is much better to do with sophistication don’t you think?
Yes, I would dearly love to know what you think, so please share your thoughts with me.
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.
On 18th January it had become this:
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.