Saturday, 24 January 2015

Green sproutings!

All over the garden the first signs of spring growth are sprouting!
The green shoots reminded me of the freeform vessel made for my mums birthday in November, that escaped the photo stage.
Mum kindly brought it back to have its picture taken!

The spiral is hooked with three very different yarns, a slender multi-coloured wool, a silky cotton, and the wonderfully woolly Wheeldale Woolcrafts variegated green also seen in the Christmas trees.

The varying thicknesses and finishes produce a naturally occurring knobbly wibbly undulating terrain....

...and lacy cobwebby holes!

Hope you are finding plenty of green shoots in the wintry bumpy earth!

Thursday, 8 January 2015

Christmas Cowls

After a few successful cowls last Christmas,
every time a suitable bargain ball of wool was spotted
 it was purchased with a cowl in mind!
Some have been winter birthday presents, and others given for Christmas!
I was given an amazing detailed and inspirational book for my wedding anniversary earlier in the year:
It has fab photos of all sorts of stitch designs, instructions and charts for each one, and suggestions of suitable yarns. 
 It will be a really useful reference as I continue to explore the art of crochet.
Before embarking on my winter cowl-a-thon I made a list of scarf-y stitches from the book,
swatched a few,
and with the intention of using a different stitch for each project,
promptly fell in love with Rope stitch
so most of my makes wound up with that one!
This acrylic is my favourite colourway!
Its from a huge vibrant squidgy ball of Robin Candyfloss
and has so far made two tall neckwarmers in rope stitch.

 Some zingy My Boshi wool and chunky yarns which were generously donated by Tracey came in handy too!

Unfortunately in the winter gloom the colours do not zing on screen as much,
the one below is a mint green!

This cowl with a twist can be worn in three colour ways

These two chunky cowls from gifted yarn were donated to charity:

HTRs in BLO  above
Rope stitch below!

Another twisted navy cowl (HTRs in BLO) was hooked for my nephew to keep him warm on chilly mornings down by the river.
However, it was presented to its new owner without being photographed!

As Sherlock stitch was well received last year,
 and therapeutic to hook, it was used again:

 for a long skinny infinity!

This was a very relaxing background project, for a friend's birthday, when events were getting hectic!

A twisted combination of Candyfloss and Sherlock evaded detection by the camera....

A friend knitted me this delicious, colourful, soft and warm vintage neckwarmer for Christmas...which is being well used!

I have learned that its never too early to start woollies....and maybe friends with summer birthdays are missing out on winter chunky hooking may become an August occupation!

Oh, and I kept one cowl to wear...wonder if you can guess which one it is?!

Sunday, 4 January 2015

O Christmas Tree....

... it has become a family tradition for our tree to be covered in just lights on the first and last night it stands in the house. 
It helps to gradually ease the senses into the shimmer of shiny bright festivities, and
towards twelfth night enables some quiet reflection as the season closes.
  As I type there is a strong pine scent and there are twinkles of coloured lights like warm house windows, winding up an earthy velvet dark green hillscape.

Christmas trees have featured more prominently this year as crocheted trees were given as gifts to local friends and family.
With an idea in my head, there were plenty of prototypes, ranging from three dimensional, top heavy, saggy bottomed, uneven, to unrecognisable!
Having wrestled with the tree idea for several weeks, and ready to drop it in needled frustration,  a calm suggestion from Mr RW made everything fall into place and the simple design was created.

An even strip of crochet, simply sewn up the middle!

Some with embellishments!

some with fancy stitching, many with two or more strands

and a fuzzy one!

Front and back!

These elegant evergreens are hooked from the most wonderful hand dyed British wool from  Wheeldale Woolcrafts, given to me by my fellow woolly wonder, Tracey!
It has an amazingly rustic rough texture and smells deliciously of.....wool!

In contrast, the base for the other green conifers is a softer nubbly British blend bought on summer holiday, specifically for this purpose, from Woolmouse in Barnard Castle.

The one on the far right with the red strip is the first, very experimental, sapling. It has an abundance of short rows (the others have two long rows)  and a variety of stitch combinations!
We pruned it a little, displayed it and have grown to love its earthiness, even if it didn't make the group forest shot!

Wishing you a treemendous start to 2015 with lots of hapPINEss!