Saturday, 28 January 2012

recycle-bin refugees

These little guys are at the heart of one of the patterns I'm picking away at at the moment. 
Two bottle caps with a shirt button ready to go inside.
The blue cap is from a 50cl buxton bottle, and the green is a 1.5L highland spring cap. The fact that with a bit of gentle coaxing they fit so neatly together is possibly the most pleasing thing I’ve done all year.

Friday, 27 January 2012

Shrek and chips

This scarf is made from naturally handdyed Scottish wool.
Two thirds green, with a deep self-coloured fringe
I bought it at Shilasdair, on the Isle of Skye, before I had tamed the crochet troll. The pattern is adapted from the "blocks and shells" block from Jan Eaton's "200 Crochet Blocks" - a great source book, and one that is looking decidedly weatherbeaten!
The yarn is dyed with British plants, and reflected for me the colours of the landscape in September when we were there. (It was a late Autumn last year, hence the rich green.)
The subtle variations in the dye echo the colours in the landscape

Lots of  pinkish brackens, and deep green scrub

Big problem – its not colourfast. My hands looked like Shrek after 40minutes of working on this.
So. Tonight’s job is to simmer the thing with a shot of vinegar. And then work out how to get it to stop smelling like a fish shop.

Monday, 16 January 2012

Not just a hooker

I’ve noticed that recently my posts have been focussed on crochet. That probably reflects the way I’ve been using my time, headspace, and, frankly, pursestrings, but we’ve been in no way monogamous, Crochet and I.

Pleasantly mild chaos

And here is the evidence of my other current dalliance – a mildly chaotic pile of half-cut squares I’m preparing for an eye-spy picture-matching quilt for my son.
I’ve decided to base it on the disappearing nine-patch block, (CluckCluckSew has an example here.) using 3 1/2 inch squares, but I’ve not yet decided on a finished size for the quilt.
I’ve been collecting novelty prints for a while now, and spent rather a lot of time lovingly laying it on my lap (on top of the cat) and waving cardboard windows over it to plan the fussy-cuts.
Even after rejecting a good proportion for being too big, too small, or too ugly, I still have 66 matching pairs, and counting. DearWife has suggested a lap quilt for the car, but one that’s double-sided. She so loves throwing me the curve balls.
So, when I’m not waggling a crochet hook, I’m brandishing a rotary cutter. Nobody told me fussy cutting took so. Much. Time!

Thursday, 12 January 2012

A scrunch of ugly

Sometimes when I'm working on something I suddenly think Why? Why? Why?

This was one of those times

To be fair, it a prototype, and the real thing will be rather less lurid, but still...

Friday, 6 January 2012

Soft shoe shuffle

Behold! Granny square blankets for your feet!

In the background you can see the little foot that
would not stand still inside the slipper...

These are made from granny squares, and really are the most extraordinary things.

Look me in the eye and
tell me that's not ugly

They look unbelievably ugly lying flat, but once they take on the shape of your foot, they seem to really hug your contours (if you know what I mean) in a  cosy, and not unflattering, way.
Best of all, they are dead easy to make, and very portable – always a bonus.
 I've also mucked around wtih fancy tops and sides, and once I've retro-written a pattern, and found a way to make boygoblin stand still (squeaky toy? superglue?) I'll show you some photos.

Thursday, 5 January 2012

Claws for thought

Lawrence is a lefty lobster

Here he is!

He came from this book It wasn’t a super easy pattern to follow, hence the lopsided claws. As it turns out, Lawrence is left handed, but not strongly left-handed yet, so he must still be fairly young. I’m no lobster expert but just for clarity, I think he might be a reef lobster , rather than the larger American lobster. Neither is he. What do you think? I do know he looked disturingly like something unmentionable before I sewed his claws and legs on. I was disinclined to give it claws at all...
I crocheted him from plarn made of supermarket bags (the best instructions for making plarn that I’ve found are here).

I think Lawrence represents my single brief foray into the ecowonderful world of plarn. Its rough to work with, and the results are usually ugly and overearnest. Please disabuse me of this notion if you’ve made something elegant with plarn. I’m not holding my breath.
He is stuffed with deflated packing airbags from the Christmas parcels and his eyes are scraps of rubbish sack.
I could claim that this is a comment on ocean pollution – and rather a good one if I may say so.
But, actually, I liked the idea that this project was completely free! Which is just as well, because as this plarn was made from biodegradable plastic bags, I fear Lawrence won’t be with us for long…