Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Extreme Crochet Hearts

BLOG TITLEA very warm welcome to everyone out there! Hope you are all enjoying the sunshine :)  This is the first time I have linked up to We Did It Wednesday over at Sew Much Ado but lets hope it will be the first of many!
I would like to share some Extreme Crochet with you! 
What? I hear you ask. 
 Extreme crochet is using multiple yarns with a huge hook.
Taking crochet to the extreme - so to speak! 

Before I show you my latest creations I have listed links to my previous posts for those of you who are not already familiar with Fiddly Fingers.  
I hope you like what you see - Look out for Chester!!!

And now you've all caught up, take a look at my newest creations!

I'd finished this basket one evening and was wondering how to photograph it!
The following day a trip to the supermarket was a necessity and being a bit peckish (never a good time to go shopping!) I bought some hot cross buns - two packets actually (buy 1 get 1 free offer!).It was soon after this I had one of those 'ping' moments!  Hence the photo!
The basket is made using 20 strands of yarn and a 25mm hook.
If you click on the link below you will be able to see the size of the hook!

You may be asking yourselves why I am making these?  Well as you will see from 'Chester the Extreme Crochet Cat' link.  It's all my sister-in-law's fault!!  I started with Chester, on a 12mm hook with 5 strands of yarn, then decided to try something a littler larger!  These are my experiements for workshops I will be running in the near future.  I need projects that can be completed within the day long workshop.  So far I have made a really big flower and a 2 round granny square seat pad (see link 'Experimenting with Extreme Crochet' as well as the basket above and heart below.  If you are interested in either workshops just (you guessed it!) click on the following links

 Here is the latest addition to my experiments.

The photograph below shows the scale!

I thought this heart would make a lovely wall decoration and I even thought it would be handy to hang 'hooky' earrings on.
If you have any other ideas for me to create in extreme crochet please let me know and if I manage to make any I can put a link to your blog when I put up a picture.

Thank you for taking the time to read this post.
Enjoy the rest of the week.
Happy hooking!

Sunday, 25 March 2012

Chester Goes Topless!

Hello Everybody!

I expect you have all had a wonderful weekend with wall to wall sunshine?  I know I have!  A wonderful walk around Salcome on the Kingsbridge Estuary, with 270 degree views from Snapes Head up, down and along the river.  Absolutely stunning!  And a day in the garden today topped off with a few G &T's in the late afternoon sunshine (wine ran out!!).  Ignore any typing errors please!

Well Chester was enjoying the sunny weather too!  He fancied a drive out in Rob's Mazda with the top down.

Come on then Chester, start her up!

Oh dear Chester!  Don't like the look of all that smoke!  Better make sure there is nothing wrong before you drive off!

Have you checked the

 Better book it in for a service when you get back!

Not looking too bad now!
Have a safe journey Chester!

Just in case any of you are wondering who Chester is, I have written a page 'Chester the Extreme Crochet Cat' on my blog explaining how and what he is made from.  If you click on this link it should take you straight to it http://www.fiddlyfingers.blogspot.co.uk/p/chester-extreme-crochet-cat.html I am using him to promote Extreme Crochet workshops.  If you would be interested in holding a workshop or attending one here in Devon please contact me via my blog or email me at alisonjoyw@hotmail.co.uk

One more thing! I am linking up to Handmade Monday over at http://www.1stuniquegifts.co.uk/blog/ why not pop over to have a look at all the other interesting blogs.

It looks like most of us are going to have a good week weatherwise, so lets hope it lives up to expectations otherwise! 

Can't wait for tomorrow! Am going to collect another car load of yarn for even more Extreme Crochet!  Oooh! So excited! Can't wait to see what colours I'll get!  Better than Christmas!!!

Have a good week!
Talk soon!

Sunday, 18 March 2012

Experimenting with Extreme Crochet

Hello everyone

Hope you've all had a relaxing weekend.  We have had a lovely time, family 80th birthday celebration yesterday, short walk and a look round the 'Blue' exhibition at The Devon Guild of Craftsmen this morning  http://www.crafts.org.uk/ and a bit of extreme crochet this afternoon (the real reason for this blog!). Perfect!

I thought it would be great to link this post with Handmade Monday over at 1st Unique gifts http://www.1stuniquegifts.co.uk/blog/about-handmade-monday/ as I know you all enjoyed the blog post about Chester.   This project, whilst smaller, is created on an even bigger hook than Chester!  Think what size Chester could turn out if I used the hook and yarn I used for these projects!  Wowee!  I'd have a job to get him in the house, let alone the car!  Anyway, I'll stop waffling.  I know you want to find out about these projects!

Well as I have already said, the projects are quite small but the hook and yarn is not!  You may or may not know that I run workshops from time to time and I have an Extreme Crochet one coming up soon at the end of April and hopefully another one coming up in June, so I am starting to think of projects which can be achieved in one day.  Remembering of course it also takes a while to sort out all the yarn!  Anyway have a look at the first one and see what you think.

It is difficult to tell the scale in this photograph but the next one may be more helpful.  I used a 25mm hook and 20 strands of dk yarn at a time.  I thought this would look rather nice on the wall of a conservatory maybe.  I did think it would look even better if I edged it in the same yellow as the centre but I haven't got enough!

Does this show the scale a little better?  I hung it on the wall in place of one of the pictures and held up a bottle of wine next to it so you could see how big it actually is.

A close-up of the flower shows the stitches in this photo.  Counting sewing in the ends it took about 1.5 - 2 hrs to complete.  So, may be possible to make a couple in a one day workshop depending how much chat and eating cake is going on!

This next project, a Granny Square seat pad cushion for a garden chair (or a kitchen chair for that matter) or a kneeling pad for gardening, was suggested by In the Sky http://inthesky1.blogspot.co.uk/ so I thought I'd give it a go.

You would not believe it, but this is only 2 rounds of a granny square!  It probably took a similar amount of time to work up as the flower - perhaps nearer the 1 - 1.5 hours.  It's the sewing in of the ends that take the time.

Here it is on a chair!  Unfortunately we have no square chairs in the house, this was the nearest I could find, but at least it gives it some perspective.  No stuffing needed for this cushion!

If you would like a few statistics, the flower took 28m of 20 strand yarn and the seat pad took about 32m.  The flower is actually the same distance across as the seat pad.  Accidental not planned!

If you have any other simple ideas for 'small' projects I would love to hear them and if any of you would be interested in a workshop please email me at www.alisonjoyw@hotmail.co.uk I will get back to you then with a price and let you know what dates are available. If you have a group of like minded friends you could get together, I would be willing to travel a reasonable distance from Devon and could arrange a date to suit you all.
Oh! One last thing, some people have been having problems commenting on my blog. If you do experience any problems could you please email me (as above) instead and explain the problem you're having and then I can try and sort it out.
Thanks for reading! I'll have a look at some of the other lovely blogs at Handmade Monday over the next few days.
Catch you soon! Alison x

Friday, 16 March 2012

Bit of Everything

Happy Friday all of you!

Aren't the weeks just flying by!  We're half way through March already!
It's been a bit of a bitty week this week.  Firstly my apologies for the lack of replies to my Handmade Monday blog post I shared with you.  My computer died on me last weekend so until I was able to have a new one delivered I had to share my OH's.  This meant I couldn't use it for long periods of time as he needed it for work so hence, no 'puter, no replies!  But you will be glad to know (well, at least I hope you will be!) I am up and running again now with a new computer.

After the success of the Knitted Wire Brooch workshop (previous post titled 'A Fantastic Workshop') I have been busy concentrating on the next couple, mainly the Extreme Crochet at the end of April.  I know it's a long way off yet but I have so much yarn to get ready and it takes me ages to unravel it all from the big chains it comes in.

It's hung over doors, the table and even the floor.  Our lounge looks like a woollen mill again just like it did when I was making Chester!

I have decided to separate it into colours but students can pick out the amount of strands to use.  Up to about 20 for the largest hook like this one.

Doh! It's turned the picture around - looks like it's upside down - but you get the idea of size!

I need to come up with some simple patterns for items to make in the one day extreme crochet workshop.  Just out of interest if you chose to come along, what sort of item would you like to make?
It needs to be achievable in about 3 or 4 hours.  Don't forget you would be using the large hook and multiple strands of yarn.  I thought along the lines of a basket, or a large decorative flower for a conservstory wall maybe, or perhaps a small rug. 
 Has anyone got any other ideas?

I will actually be going up to the weavers again soon to collect another car load, just to make sure I have enough!  So I really need to crack on with sorting this lot first.

We are going to an 80th birthday celebration tomorrow, my husband's Auntie.  She was 80 on Boxing Day but they decided to have the celebration now so it didn't get mixed up with Christmas.  We need a little gift to take along so I thought one of the wire brooches would be nice, but that means making another one - I want to be crocheting not knitting!

 I've got as far as starting the centre (pearls on the needle) so thought I'd let you know what I've been up to this week and then I would go back to it later.  I thought the gold and silver wire with the ivory coloured pearls would be idea.  She can wear it on whatever colour outfit she choses then.

So apart from trying to find some time over the next day or two to do a mountain of washing that has built up, a supermarket shop which is long over due and housework that just seems to glare at me all the time, I can sit down and put my feet up!  I wish!

Happy Friday Folks
Enjoy the weekend!

Sunday, 11 March 2012

A Fantastic Workshop

Hi there!

I have had a fantastic day today and thought I would share it with you all!

I ran the Knitted Wire Brooch workshop at Countess Wear Village Hall, Exeter, Devon today http://www.countesswearvillagehall.co.uk  and I am very pleased to say a brilliant day was had by everyone.   A lovely group of ladies, 8 in total, with lots of chat and laughter and some wonderful brooches made by the end of the day.

I took Chester with me today, to promote the two crochet workshops in April.  He managed to squeeze into the front seat on this journey!  He didn't look too comfy but didn't complain!

I arrived early to set up well in advance.  
Here is the hall, set up ready for use.

Chester 'supervised' the table with the beads and wire and the ever important tea and coffee!

He seems to have a certain 'air of importance' about him, don't you think?

Wire and bead colours chosen, we finally got down to business!

Here are a couple of brooches with the outside edge completed
and before the centre was added.  Looking good so far!

At this point we stopped for lunch and how lucky we were!  The sun was shining and there was a little sheltered spot just outside the hall door, perfect for a picnic!  Not the most scenic position (hence no photos) but good to feel the sun on your face.

After lunch, fat, full and drowsy after our session in the sun, we pressed on with the centre part of the brooch and finally got around to sewing all the components together.

Here are all the finished brooches.  Don't they look fantastic?

You may notice there are only 7 brooches but there were 8 people on the workshop!  One lady had been ill previously and this was her first day out.  Unfortunately during the afternoon she was feeling unwell again and decided to go home.  She just needed to sew everything together so took it with her to complete when she felt better.  We all wish her well and hope she starts feeling well again soon.

From the above photos I think you will all agree everyone produced a very unique brooch, some of which were being given as presents.

I'm about to blow my own trumpet now as I had wonderful comments from all the ladies, with requests for some more workshops (which I shall work on as soon as I can).  I hope you don't mind but I feel so proud and would love to share them with you.  I've listed them below!

"A very well paced day - very relaxing.  
Instruction sheet clear and plenty of personal attention"

"Great to learn a new skill"

"Great course
Great lady
Great way to spend a Sunday
Thank you"

"Fascinating day learning a new craft"

"Knowledgeable tutor, friendly group. Good size class.
Great to produce something in a day.
Lovely selection of colours of beads and wire.
A really enjoyable, creative day.
Thank you.
Look forward to further classes with Alison."

"Really enjoyed the knitted wire corsage course.
Many thanks"

"A lovely day - I'm so pleased with the end result.
Thank you"

The delightful ladies showing off their unique creations!

Thank you to all the lovely ladies who joined me for the workshop and for your wonderful comments. 
 You really did make my day!
Alison x

Friday, 9 March 2012

Taffy at the Dentist!

Hello everyone

As you will know from my previous post we all had our 6 monthly check-up at the dentist recently, including Taffy!

Poor Taffy!  This was his first ever visit and he was a little anxious to say the least!  But, do not despair, everything went well!
This is our fantastic dentist, we have known him for many years now (longer than I care to calculate!) so I knew Taffy would be in good hands.
He soon put Taffy at ease.
Can you see how relaxed Taffy looks?
Open wide Taffy!
"Everything looks fine" said the dentist "See you again in 6 months".
Phew said Taffy!
Taffy is looking very pleased with himself now!  The dentist gave him a sticker for being such a good teddy!
I think this may have been a first for the dentist, as well as Taffy!
What do you think?

Friday, 2 March 2012

Taffy helps with the household chores!

Hi everyone!

I'm supposed to be doing housework! but I thought I would check a few emails and ended up blogging!  Got to go to the dentist later :(

I thought you may want to see what Taffy's been up to lately.  I've been meaning to post these for a couple of weeks now but with one thing and another didn't get around to it.

It was actually raining outside and Taffy was bored
He very kindly offered to help me with the household chores.  You can see he means business as he rolled up his sleeves to get stuck in (well, took off his waistcoat really).
Here he is cleaning the toilet!
Cleaning the bath!
Cleaning the mirror!  Who's that in there? They look just like me!  Very handsome!
Taffy's helping to collect the washing ready to put in the machine!
Loading the washing machine!
Noooo!  Taffy you're not supposed to be on that side of the machine!  Jump out quick!

Well that's it for now, hope the photos made you smile!  You'll be glad to know Taffy did get out and lived to tell the tale!  He has some new boots now and tried them out last weekend but that's another post, when I get around to it!

Taffy's not so keen to help this week so shall have to do the housework myself :( and then off to the dentist :((
Never mind out for a meal with friends tonight - something to look forward to.
Have a good weekend folks, will be looking forward to hearing all about
what you get up to!