almost finished: the wool-eater

Okay, I started this in 2009.  It has had many extended periods of hiatus, but this year I was determined to get it closer to finished.  Although my original plan was to crochet three round of each colour, I have amended that to two rounds.  I am almost there, but have run out of yarn with about twelve stitches to go in the mid-pink, which means that I won’t have quite enough yarn for the next few rounds either.  When I can source some more of the yarn I will finish off those last rounds.  In the meantime, the blanket has gone into use.

2013-11-16 19.59.57

There is more detail about this on my Ravelry page, and there are previous posts about the wool-eater blanket here.

Keeping on hooking

For some time I’ve been considering making a doily.  I crochet, right?  Well surely I can’t REALLY be a crocheter unless I’ve made a doily.  Aren’t doilies synonymous with crochet?  But to crochet a doily, you need thread, a pattern, and some very fine crochet hooks.  I have the crochet thread, I have plenty of doily patterns (thanks to some vintage patterns in my collection and thanks to the internet) and now I have some very fine hooks.

Crochet hooks by you.

See all those metal hooks with bamboo handles on the left?  See how teeny tiny (or tiny winy as Clare would say) those hooks are?  How on earth am I going to manipulate those when I’m used to 8ply yarn with a 4.5 – 6.5 mm hook!  But never fret, I will give it a go.  I bought the lovely coloured hooks on the right from the same eBay seller, since I needed a few bigger ones and some duplicates of sizes I commonly use (which I tend to leave with the associated project).  I’ll break them in on the June Hip to Hook yarn and patterns.

Hip to Hook - June 09 by you.

And in case anyone has been wondering how the wool-eater blanket is progressing – the answer is extremely slowly. 

Wool Eater Blanket - row 14 by you.

I’m working on the 14th colour round.  Considering I’m planning on 30 colour rounds, and this blanket is increasing in size every round, I wouldn’t anticipate it being finished this year.  It’s now almost too large to carry around, so I’m restricted to working on it at home, and I keep getting distracted by quick-fix crochet projects.  I reckon there’s more chance of the doily being finished before this blanket.

Wool Eater progresses

Firstly, thank you all so much for the lovely comments you left about my quilt!  I am feeling rather chuffed, I must admit, and your positive feedback was extremely encouraging.  I can tell that I could get a teeny weeny (or tiny winy, as Clare would say) bit addicted to this quilting caper.

But onward to the Wool Eater blanket!  All ten colours are finally in use, and I’m on to the second round for each.

Clare's Wool Eater Blanket - 12 rows done by you.

I was a little unsure about the white when I was crocheting it, but once the next two colours had been added I could see that it was really going to lift the whole colour scheme.

Clare's Wool Eater Blanket - 12 rows done, detail by you.

Each successive row adds a whole new dimension to this blanket!  I think it will have three rows of each colour before it is done (maybe even a little more).  It’s now getting a bit too big to carry around in my handbag, so progress might slow down a little.  We’ll see!

Has this become a crochet blog?

There appear to be more posts about crochet on this blog lately than anything else.  Whatever happened to the bags, the embroidery, the clothes?  Especially the clothes – I really need some new dresses for work!  But the call of the hook is strong.  Here are the flower motifs I made from my March hip to hook parcel.

Flower motif - Hip to Hook March 09 by you.

I made six of these little beauties, and wrapped them in a vintage embroidered cloth for a friend’s 40th birthday gift.  I’m not quite certain what they will become (coasters?  embellishments?  framed as a picture?  part of something else? scarf endings? did she mention pasties?) but I hope that she liked them – I think she did!

I have also made a little progress on the Wool Eater Blanket.  Seven colours done, another three colours still to add.

Edited to add: The above link to the Wool Eater Blanket pattern is no longer available.  The pattern came from Sarah London, who can be contacted through her blog here.  I have also noticed that it looks a lot like what is called Bavarian Crochet.

Wool Eater Blanket progress - 7 colours by you.

I sat in a cosy pub crocheting away happily with other Brown Owls on Monday night, a drink of brandy and dry in front of me after finishing my dinner of pate.  Pip observed that I was being very retro… 

But there is a mistake in my blanket!  The light in the pub was pretty dim and I was clearly distracted by the conversation and maybe the brandy.  Can you spot the error?  I’m too many rows further along to pull it out and correct it now.  I may pretend that it is a deliberate mistake, in the same way as Amish Quilters were thought to purposely include a mistake in their quilts. 

First Brown Owls meet for 2009

Tuesday evening was the first meet of the revamped Brown Owls crafty club for this year.  Rather than meeting at the clubhouse and having a different set project each meet (a truly massive workload for the organisers) we are meeting at a different location each time and bringing along our own crafty projects (although there are still craft kits available if you need one).  We met at Stay Human in Richmond, which describes itself as an “ethical hub and merch makers”.  It was a great crafty space, I took along cushions to sit on and had a glass of wine from the cafe downstairs.  Lovely to greet familiar faces and meet some new ones!  I took along some crochet (hardly surprising).

Brown Owls March 09 by you.

I’ve made a start on Clare’s Wool Eater Blanket.  I found it a little tricky to get into the flow of the pattern at first, necessitating ripping out stitches a few times – much to the horror of onlookers!  But now I’m in the groove, and I adore the way it is progressing.  Stay Human has a badge making machine available, so I made a few badges using crafty photos I’ve taken.  That was fun – I’m trying to think of other uses for badges (school fundraisers, kids birthday parties, etc) so that I can have an excuse to go back and make some more one day.

We ended the evening in the cafe downstairs and had coffee and creme brulee – one of my favourite desserts!  It’s nice to be meeting up again, although I do miss the clubhouse.  The opportunity to share my interest (obsession?) in craft has become very important to me over the past year.  I’m so glad to have met you all, fellow crafters!  And I’m so glad that we’re continuing to get together in a different, relaxed format. 

Saturday at Stitches and Craft

After the warmth and humidity of Friday, I think that the last thing we were expecting was the heavy cloud and rain that Saturday brought with it!  Lucky for Clare, my friend Megan and me we were all inside the halls at the Showground by 9.30am.  We started off with a general browse past the Incubator stands then Megan went off to watch Handmade Nation while Clare and I went to do a class with Jodie

Clare at Jodie's button ring and brooch workshop by you.

Clare had decided to learn to make button rings and brooches.  She had a ball (and so did I) – Jodie was lots of fun and the class was very friendly and productive.  Clare and I were even recognised from this blog by another class member, Karen!  Actually, I kept running into people I knew all day – from Brown Owls, from mother’s group, school mums, bloggers – it was almost surreal!

Button rings and brooches by you.

Clare chose all the button combinations herself and did most of the sewing too.  She did a great job!  She still says that this class was the most fun thing of the whole day.  Thanks again Jodie!

Jodie and Clare by you.

After lunch I found myself drawn to the Pear Tree Yarn stand.  I crocheted a scarf from their yarn last year, and it was so lovely and soft and cuddly to work with.  Clare laid her eyes on some pink yarn, and I just couldn’t refuse her request to crochet something for her.  I bought three skeins of 4 ply merino in the most perfect shade of pink.

Stitches and Craft purchases by you.

She also talked me into buying the felt flowers for her, and the kimono fabric/resin buttons at BBB beads were too pretty to resist.

I’ve been looking for 8 ply in a variety of colours to crochet a rug for each of the girls.  The Yarn Barn had a massive range of colours at really good prices, so Clare had a ball choosing which ones she wanted for her rug, keeping in mind the colours of fabric I’ve already bought to make quilts.  She’s got a bit of a knack for it!

Blanket yarn from Yarn Barn by you.

I’m going to crochet a Wool Eater Blanket for Clare and a Ripple Blanket for Stella.  Both to coordinate with the quilts I haven’t made yet.  But here is the yarn with the fabric!

Yarn and fabric to become blankets and quilts by you.

I get the feeling that I’m spending more time planning and preparing for projects than participating and being productive…

We didn’t end up leaving the show until 3.30pm!  Clare made her grandma a get-well card at the Crayola stand, we looked at all the people having a crafty time at the craft bars, and wished that we had more time to do more classes and take part in everything that it had to offer.  Megan and I had a great time chatting and catching up with one another’s news, and we all left tired but happy and inspired.  I am kicking myself a little that I didn’t buy some fat quarters from Ink and Spindle and Kelani Fabric - but hey, there’s a sale coming up at Amitie this Friday!  Kevin does want us to stimulate the economy, after all…