Earlier this year (Feb 2017) I was contacted, through Etsy, by a lovely lady who asked me if I’d be willing to create a freeform handbag, incorporating her collection of vintage earrings. As a rule, I don’t usually take on many custom orders for freeform pieces, mainly because I rarely know which direction a project may go &, even if the customer points to a particular item as an example, no 2 pieces are ever the same. So it’s often difficult pleasing people who already have pre-conceived ideas… Basically, I don’t want to disappoint…
Nevertheless, I was intrigued when she sent me a photo of the earrings &, after discussing preferred colours & forms (her preference for florals & Autumn tones), handles style, basic bag shape & her assurances that I had free range to create whatever I thought best… I decided to give it a go…. & so it began….
The finished handbag turned out great. My customer was super happy with the result. I too, was very pleased & don’t know why, in the beginning, I was so hesitant. Well, there you go, that’s the creative process. Perhaps this little exercise will persuade you to have a search through your own collectables & see what inspirations you can find….
I simply love yarn; the rush you get when you find a new one. How colour and/or texture floods the mind & inspirations just flows in.
As a rule, when I’m in the process of purchasing yarn, in the back of my mind I’m always afraid that I won’t have enough for a single project, either a project in mind or a potential one that hasn’t been thought of yet. And so, inevitably I, more often than not, purchase far more than I eventually use &, as most yarnies will agree, yarn stashes can grow at an alarming rate.
To gain some semblance of control, quick & easy projects can, to some extent, if not completely, reduce that overwhelming feeling of becoming a yarn hoarder…
These 4 projects are a great examples for using up those larger amounts of yarn sitting idle for far too long.
For the ponchos I used variations of my own pattern which can be found here
For the hooded poncho I knotted together (leaving the knots as a feature) a combination of complimentary, natural & acrylic, green & brown yarns & using a large hook (UK:10mm / US: N), crocheted in trebles (US: dc) & worked in stripes, adding extra rows around the neck-line to produce the cowl / hood.
The pink / purple poncho in made up of a beautiful 30% wool / 70% acrylic 8 ply yarn that, if your lucky, can still be purchased but I’ve never found it in this colour combo again… I used hook size (UK: 6mm / US: H) & also crocheted in trebles (US: dc)
I didn’t have a pattern for the Circular vest. Working in trebles (US: dc) & a hook size (UK: 4.5 mm / US: G), I began in the centre as you would for any circle & spiralled around & around, always marking the first stitch of each round & increasing as you would for a circle. I used my mannequin to determine arm-holes & basically freestyled it to the end. This is a gorgeous 8 ply, 60% super wash wool / 40% polyamide, yarn & a delight to work with. Check out the circular Vest on Etsy
So, to end this long post, I’d just like to say… don’t be daunted by your growing yarn stash… find patterns & projects that use limited amounts of yarn. Take a chance & use combinations of different yarns, knot them together or just join in new yarn as one runs out. Try out different size hooks… it’s fun, it’s creative, you’re never quite sure how it will turn out but, best of all, it’s a mighty, practical way of losing that hoarder reputation…
It’s been a long while since I’ve posted anything new, 2016 being such a stressful year but I’m determined that 2017 will be a happy, productive & creative time again. This little pattern has been in the pipe-line for ages & I’ve finally put it all together… I hope it’s a pattern that is both interesting to work & practical to boot…
Little Dots Rug (Afghan) Crochet Pattern:
Little Dots Rug (Afghan) Crochet Pattern is a great, fun pattern for using up all those bits & pieces sitting idle in your yarn stash; those small yarn left-overs that are not enough for large projects but too good to just discard or throw away…
Little Dots Rug (Afghan) Crochet Pattern is suitable for beginners but still interesting enough for the more experienced.
Your choice of yarn, back ground colour, & appropriate hook that you favour, will give your project its own unique result. I’m a big fan of rainbows but there’s no reason why you can’t work your rug in mono tones…
The pattern includes:
~ both UK & US terminology
~ pattern diagram (chart)
~ stitch drawings
Enjoy this fun pattern using up all those neglected yarn bits & pieces in your stash… waste not, want not… is my motto for this project….
This Sampler is a bit different from the usual Sampler Pattern as it’s worked horizontally instead of in a collection of squares. The 17 different stitches that make up this sampler are worked in rows that are repeated as many times as you like, in colour combinations that you prefer & using the hook your comfortable with… therefore , although I’ve given yarn & hook requirements, this is your project – work with your own preferred yarns, colours & appropriate hook.
~ Requirements for rainbow rug (afghan) as featured in photo: 200g (7.1 oz) of each: yellow, orange, red, purple, blue, green. Chocolate Brown 50g (1.77oz)
Hook size: 4.50 (US: G)…I used Bendigo Classic yarn.
~ Requirements for Beige/brown rug (afghan) as featured in photo: 270g (9.53oz) of each: siege, brown, cream, 23g (.9oz) orange
Hook size: 4.50 (US: G)…I used economy yarns from my stash.
I hope this is an enjoyable new project for you to try & create something that you will be proud to show off or gift to family or friends.
CORRECTION: I have discovered a major error in my book Textured Crochet Lace… the instructions for Edging Individual Squares was omitted when published…
My sincere apologies to everyone who has purchased the book & therefore been confused about the edging & may even have abandoned their project…
I’m mortified! How do these things happen, but they do… even after intense proof-reading & editors checking… goes to show that nothing is perfect….
Hopefully, this post will rectify this major mistake to some degree…
The instructions for edging individual squares are as follows:
Round 1: with right side facing & continuing with working colour, 1 ch, work 3 dc (US: sc) in same st [place marker in middle st, corner made], * work 29 dc (US: sc) evenly spaced to next corner st, 3 dc (US: sc) in corner st, repeat around square, join with ss in first dc (US: sc), do not finish off – 128dc (US: sc)
Round 2: continuing with working colour, 1 ch, dc (US: sc) in same st and in each st across to next corner st, * 3 dc (US: sc) in corner st, dc (US: sc) in each st across to next corner st, repeat from * around, join with ss in first dc (US: sc) , finish off – 136 dc (US: sc)
Please contact me if you have any questions… Renate