Friday, January 15, 2016

Just a quickie

Before I forget I thought I'd better just do a quick update with a few bits and bobs.

As always, I save the fronts of a few Christmas cards for inspiration. It's either the pattern or graphic design that excites me. The 2 robins remind me of the wonderful Charley Harper whose work has always appealed to me - have a look at his designs here. What I love most is how he gets to the very essence of the creatures he draws. The one on the far left reminds me of spirograph patterns which gave me hours of pleasure as a child and would also translate into crochet mandalas. I love the whimsical folky nature of the 2 snow scenes and the stylised graphics of the houses in the remaining 2 cards.

These will now be saved in my 'Inspiration' folder

We found a lovely new centrepiece for our dining table recently. It's French and is made of some sort of fruit wood with carvings of fruit and leaves on each end. I'm going to fill it with a collection of handmade and found objects on a base of florists' moss. The old display, made in an old wicker bread basket, was looking rather tired so it will make a nice change.

I was rummaging around for something to put underneath it as a temporary cover whilst I make a new runner and came across this old mat I made many, many years ago:

The centre is linen with scalloped edges filled with crochet motifs. When I saw it I remembered why I haven't used it for ages - it's a real pain in the neck to iron/pin out those pesky motifs! I want to have something brighter eventually but it will do for now.

I finished off a sweater for myself just after Christmas and it's one of my cobbled-together-using bits-of-various-patterns sweaters. It started when we were shopping several months ago and I saw a gorgeous sweater in a shop window. It was made of some sort of luxury yarn and felt absolutely wonderful. Then I saw the price tag of £197 - I think not! So I made a mental note of the shape and stitch pattern and set forth on working out my own version using some dark grey yarn I've had in my stash for ages and never known what to do with until that moment. It's a merino, alpaca. acrylic mix and is very soft and squishy.

Now I am not as confident at designing my own knitwear as I am at crochet and so it took lots of fumbling and frogging until I got it just right. The original had set-in sleeves but I liked the idea of raglan ones so I used a basic sweater pattern and swatched using a similar stitch, honeycomb stitch, which I found on this hat pattern

I can't get a photo of me wearing it at the moment as Mike's not around but will get one taken asap. It was this neckline that inspired my knitted beads idea and the colours I've chosen look gorgeous against the dark grey of the jumper.

Neckline details showing the rolled edge - nothing fancy, just plain old stocking stitch which rolls quite naturally without any help!

It reminded me of another escapade from many years ago (sometime in the late 1980s in fact) when a lack of funds saw me do something very similar with a jumper I'd seen in a trendy boutique. I've still got it and wear it around the house but you can tell the decade from which it came 'cos of its boxy shape. I used to wear it with cream ski pants and dark brown ankle boots and it was one of my favourite outfits for ages.

It's made of cotton using the intarsia technique and I chuckle when I see my poor finishing on the inside - I've knotted some of the ends rather than weaving them in, which is a cardinal sin according to some people. Well, it's been chucked in the washing machine without a care for many a year now and the ends haven't come undone so I'm not going to lose any sleep over it!

My next marathon/ultra is this weekend and it promises to be rather cold so I shall be wearing lots of layers in an attempt to keep warm.


Lowcarb team member said...

I remember spirograph well, I used to love making the patterns ... I believe it's still going strong, and colouring in general is extremely popular now! Have you seen the variety of colouring books available, it is quite therapeutic!

Dress warm
Run well

All the best Jan

Susie Hewer said...

Jan, I am desperately trying to resist the colouring book trend as I have far too many hobbies as it is (but the many patterns are fabulous and I confess I do have a couple of patterns I'd like to turn into embroidery projects……….)