Sunday, 30 November 2014

Finished Mandala

Now to a ta dah moment, well actually the second one for this project! You may remember a while ago I made a mandala inspired by Yarndale.  I finished the mandala but had to wait for my OH to cut a thin wooden hoop for me so I could attach it and hang it up.

You can see the hoop he cut for me and the finished mandala before I attached it in the picture below. It measures about 18" across.

I added two rounds of treble crochet to the outside edge of the mandala, one in the front loop and one in the back loop of the stitches.  I then placed the hoop between these two and closed the rounds with a round of double crochet.

Ta dah! Here it is in it's full glory!

Don't you just love the colours?  I can't get enough of them.

If you would like to have a go at this yourself you will find the pattern over at Zooty Owl's Blog.
I thought I may have a go at making a smaller one using a tiny hook and crochet thread, anyone got any ideas on what I could use for a hoop?
Have fun!
See you over at Handmade Monday

Sunday, 23 November 2014

Crochet Spoke Square

I have been playing about with crochet squares this week.  I'll explain why another time but for now I decided I would like to design a few myself so thought I would start with the basics.

I want to work on 4" squares.  Using a dk cotton I started by crocheting a circle of 12 trebles increasing on each round until I got to 4 rounds (48sts).

Now came the tricky bit! Squaring the circle! I divided my 48 stitches into 4 and set about making some corners.  You can see in the picture below how I placed the markers at equal intervals around the circle before I started the squaring.

It's not been blocked yet but after a combination of dc, htr and tr here is my basic square to work from.

It feels a little as though I'm reinventing the wheel here as you can look at numerous sites and easily find a pattern to create this basic square.  Having said that, working it out for yourself gives you a deeper understanding of the construction behind such a simple square and I can now go ahead and deconstruct/reconstruct bits to create my own designs.  In theory that is! We'll see what happens in practice as time goes on!!

Ok, basic square made.  Whilst at Sharpham last weekend I made a quick sketch of some of the plaster work on the ceiling (I had these squares in mind you see!).

When I got home I set about creating!!!! Now the observant amongst you will notice there are 8 'spokes' to this design.  Well let's just say it took me quite a while to work out that it is impossible to make 8 'spokes' in a circle of 48sts!  (If anyone knows of a way, please share it with us!).  I settled on 12 'spokes' eventually and here is the result.

Not the best photo I'm afraid as I am using up yarn from my stash.  It actually looks a lot better in real life but I think you can see the effect and if I used contrasting colours it would be more striking.  I'll show you the scrummy colours I have chosen for my project in another post when I have finished designing my squares.

All that's needed now is to work out how to add the bobbly bits to the design, but I think this could be a simple square design on it's own.  It's not for the feint hearted mind you, it took a bit of working out how to work the two colours in without colour drag and how to carry them along seamlessly behind the work.  Oh did I forget to take a photo of the back!!!! Whatever was I thinking!

I'm off over to Handmade Monday now to see what you have all been up to this week and I'm also linking up with Hookin on Hump Day but I thought I would leave you with this picture of the pretty pink sky from our lounge window late this afternoon.

Monday, 17 November 2014

Sharpham Retreat

As part of my convalescence and recovery from Breast Cancer I have just spent a wonderful weekend on a retreat at Sharpham Estate near Totnes in Devon, organised by the charity Cancer Lifeline South West.

I met an amazing group of ladies and came away with many memories to treasure for a long time to come.  Sharpham is such a beautiful place I felt I would like to share some of the photos I took.

I had a room to myself despite it having twin beds, a cot and a rocking horse!! And here you can see the view from my window (not a good photo as it was taken through glass).
Views of the river.  
Sharpham is situated on a small peninsula with the river on each side.

Now you may wonder why I'm sharing this photo, just a muddy bit of river and an expanse of water you may think, but look a little closer and yes there seems to be a stranded shark or fish!  As we are on the River Dart which runs into the sea at Dartmouth, not far away, a perfectly feasible assumption!
But ....... and we were all deceived ....
when I got home and put it on the computer ...... what a surprise!
You guessed it ....... it was just a log!

For those of you who are familar with Handmade Monday I am rather late this week as I was so tired when I got home yesterday I just couldn't manage a post in time but thought I may just manage to squeeze in on the end as I was keen to share this beautiful place with you all.  I did make a start (small start) on designing some crochet squares but more on that next week.

Have a good week folks!

Sunday, 9 November 2014

Fungi Foray!

I made a booboo today!  I've just tutored an Introduction to Crochet workshop for 8 lovely ladies and carelessly I forgot to take the camera!! Doh!  I wanted to show you how much they managed to achieve in just the one day.  Unfortunately you will just have to take my word for it.  They were all amazing and I am looking forward to catching up with some of them again on the Follow on Crochet workshop in the spring.

I have nothing new to show you this week as I am still working on the two projects I have on the go from previous weeks and don't want to bore you with ever so slightly different photos, so instead I thought I would share some wonderful pictures of fungi we took on a recent walk around the lanes within walking distance of where we live.

And these are the ones that started it all off!

I love all the pretty shapes you can see when you look at them closely. We couldn't resist them and came across one after another.  Hope you enjoyed them too.  I'm off over to Handmade Monday now, see you there :)

Sunday, 2 November 2014

Itty Bitty Week

Thank you for all your interesting comments on my previous post.  I am so pleased it inspired some of you to have a go at Dorset Buttons they can have many ingenious uses. The ladies on the workshop I did last week were also very taken with the idea.  It was only a short workshop at Spin A Yarn my wonderful local woolshop but was such a success that we have decided to make the next one in the Spring Term a whole day!

I had a lovely time at my daughter's last week and thoroughly enjoyed spending my prize money.  I now have a few outfits to wear and we also managed to squeeze in a couple of bits for her too.

On the craft front, it has been a rather itty bitty week.  I am still working on my mandala which although complete, needs attaching to a hoop - very kindly cut out by my OH I may add.  So another 2 or 3 rounds needed to attach this to the hoop.

I have also started another crochet project called Sophie's Garden which I found on a wonderful site called Look At What I Made.  It's packed full of wonderful crochet patterns to fuel the imagination.
You can see what I've achieved so far, but the picture is a little odd as I was crocheting in the car on our way to stay with friends!

I am using Axminster carpet yarn which is at least 80% wool and intend to make a loose cover for a foot stool.  I want to be able to wash it and expect it will felt slightly which will be interesting.  I'll let you know how it goes.

My OH is on an acrylic painting course this weekend, so I thought I would share his creation with you.  It's a little different for him as he often works in water colour but I rather like the effect he has created. They were painting in some woods nearby and he was trying to capture the light shining through the trees.  See what you think.

Today he is painting 'water' so I am looking forward to seeing what he arrives home with later. Watch this space!

I'm off for a quick walk now whilst the sun is out, but will be linking up with Handmade Monday when I get back.  See you there!