archive for April, 2006
yay! a (nearly) finished object: the Very Important Blanket. it still needs ends weaving in, but since i must have spent (no kidding) at least 5 hours weaving in already, i feel justified in calling it finished as soon as the last stitch of the border was stitched.
it will be getting a wash but not be blocked as such so this is it in all its frilly-edged glory. i hope the frilling and colour choices don’t make it too girly if baby turns out to be a boy. it’s really too big for a baby blanket, but it’ll be a great playmat and hopefully should see blanket service well into toddlerhood and beyond.
to recap, after much deliberation i settled on a 50% cotton 50% acrylic dk weight yarn (brett’s kool kotton) with a 4mm hook. it took 15 50g balls, with enough spare to make at least one more sleepy cat (for whom i purloined some of this yarn). the pattern is “textured bluebells”, #6 in the book 200 crochet blocks. it’s just a row of sc, ch 2, skip 2 (us terminology, still can’t think crochet in british english) followed by a row of 3 dc into the sc of the previous row.
the squares are joined using the magical flat braid method which means it looks as good on the back as it does on the front, but i clearly didn’t get it quite right since i ended up with gaps at the corners. following some welcome assistance from crochetville i carried on the braid pattern by adding an extra 2 entwined ch3s in each space. you might just be able to see in this pic. i also needed to add another ch3 along the edges where the squares joined to get the edging to sit right. it made for a very neat solution but a whole host of extra ends to be woven.
i had to order an extra ball to complete the edging, but i think it now looks well balanced and properly finished, so it was worth it. dunno if the dyelots were the same but you can’t spot the join. the edging is a simple ch3, sc into loop row followed by a ch3 picot row (ch4, sl st into 3rd ch from hook, ch1, sc into loop).
and finally, time for my confession. i have committed greater sins against crochet, but i think this one is still quite major: i knotted my ends. i just didn’t want to run any risk of everything coming unravelled in the wash, since i’m really hoping this will see serious service and will therefore have to withstand serious washing. also, had it been a wool yarn i would have been more confident of the weaving and intermeshing of fibres alone to hold things fast, but this cotton acrylic is smooth and slippy and the open pattern didn’t leave much space for thorough weaving. so there it is, another one to go down on my permanent record…
this has been a thoroughly enjoyable piece to work (save the weaving of course), the squares are nicely portable, the pattern became soothingly automatic (but not boring) very quickly and i never failed to enjoy how cleverly the flat braid knits together.
pimping my auctions: i’m listing a mountain of stuff over the next few days, including rationalising my fabric and applique stash. check out what here.
Peking: not entirely o/t if i waffle something about inspiration i reckon i could stretch a single roll of this to cover one wall in the bedroom.
and on the same theme, awesome wallpaper links.
felt-shop not a feltmaker as such but such original, tactile things to do with sheet felt.
gypsy fabric (linen) by neisha crosland. i have such a big thing about ferns, ferns and palms, i think it’s harking back to a victorian thing.
since she doesn’t do the design as a wallpaper (by which i could potentially have been sorely tempted) and because one (enormous) panel of this weighs in at a whopping Â£160+ i shall have to file it under “inspiration” only. pah.
i am so much in love with my new chair. if i had a lappie there’d be no removing me from it ever. i’d have to be turned at regular intervals to prevent my skin from fusing with it. ewwwww.
it’s an original 70’s stressless recliner by ekornes, a norwegian company that appears to be the ultimate when it comes to reclining chairs. i’m a bit of a newcomer to “mid century modern” design, although i have unwittingly been filling the house with cheap repros from ikea
i found the chair on ebay (natch) it’s in near perfect nick except the tips of the arms are rather discoloured and cracked. i think i paid a good price for a 70’s model (and a fraction of the current new price) mostly because it wasn’t listed as leather, let alone ekornes (although the name and patents are on the label). it’s obviously a high quality piece of furniture, and immensely comfy, swivels all the way round and you just lean back to recline it. we’ve yet to figure out how to twizzle the knobs to get it to stay put in a particular position – it stays just where you want it while you’re in it, but returns to upright as you sit up – but if it turns out we can’t it’s no biggie.
most importantly there’s room for one and a half, so it’s the perfect story time chair, which is exactly what i wanted it for. well, that and swivelling round whilst stroking the cat on my knee, saying “so, mr bond…” in a cod eastern european accent, a fair amount of which has also been going on.
it takes up less space than i expected, both physically and visually. it’s replacing a large 3-seater sofa that only got occasional sitting-on use, but constant stacking-big-piles-of-crap-on-instead-of-putting-them-away-properly use. as soon as we’d decided to get rid of the sofa it opened up the opportunity to make a decent sized play space for madam if we could find a comfy chair to replace the occasional sitting function but thwart the piles-of-crap function. i think i hit the jackpot here, it’s perfect. so perfect in fact i’m considering fashioning some form of antimacassar for it (lol, now that’s proper mid-century) to protect the leather from my pink hair dye that transfers scarily easily when it’s fresh. in fact i’ve just noticed that my keyboard is going pink from the tips of my fingers which are always rather pinky for a week or so after i first do it – it is very pink
i guess this is as good a place as any to drop my restoring leather furniture links:
leather repair and restoration
caring for leather furniture
uktv style ask the expert
on the same slightly o/t theme piccies of the newly done rooms are still pending. i took a few shots earlier but a) i need to get out of my usual “details” frame of mind (engendered by too many years living in a house that desperately needed plaster and paint, perhaps?) so you can actually see the overall effect and b) i need to get my tripod out cos there’s not quite enough light to get decent handheld shots.
and finally, today i’ve had a throughly enjoyable time browsing the apartment therapy smallest coolest apartment contest for some extra pointers. although we’re blessed with rather more square footage than the 650 contest limit* and i’ve yet to see an entry that has to accommodate children full-time, i think there’s still a lot we could learn from here. i love our little house and dearly want to make it work for us as a family for as long as possible, so learning how to maximise the space and pull it all together visually is important to me.
i’m pleasantly surprised to see how “on trend” my decorating instincts (grey walls, aforementioned mid-century modern, mixing different woods etc) appear to be, especially considering that it’s all picked up by osmosis. i don’t read or watch any interior design stuff, the closest i’ve got to that is my recent bauhaus reading and the book on scandinavian design i picked up recently (more of which anon). otherwise furniture-wise i just tend to drool over stuff in habitat and then pick things i can actually afford from ikea and usually there’s not much choice it’s whatever they happen to have that fits…
*edit: out of curiosity i searched out our original agent’s details, and it turns out we have around 600 square feet. it feels like so much more space than most of the apartments i’ve seen in the contest, perhaps it’s just a visual trick of viewing everything in photographs, or maybe because we have 7 rooms over 2 floors rather than one large space, i dunno. i am half tempted to enter next year’s contest though, if only to enjoy the snidey comments about my bland and derivative taste and oh god not more ikea but then i’d have to tidy up the whole house for the pictures, which aint ever going to happen.
painting and parties out of the way i’m beginning to ease back into the crafting and blogging swing of things, it feels so good to pick up a crochet hook again. i did manage to squeeze in a little stitching over the past few weeks, for mother’s day.
i’ve wanted to try crewel for ages, ever since the new crewel caught my eye. it’s something i remember fondly from my childhood (i think it had a revival in the 70s and my mum was quite an embroiderer back then) and to me it has similar positive associations to blackwork – a rather neglected, typically english style dating back to elizabethan times. i think that crewel applies to any embroidery using wool threads, irrespective of the style or stitches, but here i’ll add a disclaimer that all this is off the top of my head thoughts and may be way off track. i don’t have the inclination to delve into the web to find proper resources – i’m gently easing myself back into the blogging, so no facts today just opinions
to save time in the hectic run up to mothers day i thought i’d go with a kit, from the v&a. it was designed as a pincushion, but i (rather sloppily) mounted it onto a card. i really enjoyed working it, it had a similar appeal to my perfectionist tendencies as blackwork, but rather more laid back. you don’t have to count threads exactly, just make sure you cover the areas solidly. it should be easy enough to work any design of your own choosing, the 3 stitches used in the kit (satin, long and short, stem), look as though they would cover most bases. the kit was marked advanced, but it was very straightforward and fairly quick too.
on the down side mum hates fuschias, and i knew that when i got the kit, but i hoped the time and care that went into working it might make up for that. it was the only small crewel kit in the shop – and i do think it’s pretty. there was a much nicer one pictured on the packet from the same series of an alium or somesuch but they didn’t have that one.
yay! lovely uk blog, guess who else has been shopping at cia’s palette:)
and in case anyone was wondering about the lack of activity here the redecorating took slightly longer than expected (as in more than twice as long). so no crafting and barely any hooter time to be had for over 2 whole weeks
we’re hoping to have everything just about finished for a certain person’s third (!) birthday party tomorrow. if we make it through without acquiring any additional, um, embellishment – in felt tip – again – i’ll try to take some pictures to prove i haven’t just been drinking gin for a fortnight (although a sanity-preserving amount of that has indeed been going on). after extensive trials it turns out i attain optimum painting ability after exactly one and a half drinks.