Tag Archives: crochet

Being free

The September meeting was a workshop with Bee Weir, and was very well attended: freeform knitting and crochet.

Bee’s own work is inspirational, and after some minutes spent fondling and examining and ooohing and aaahing (and buying things), we soon settled down. We’d been asked to bring along a selection of miscellaneous yarns and needles and hooks:

tools

and soon started work on our ‘scrumbles’. These are small pieces of freeform work which will eventually be pieced together to make something: a garment, perhaps, or a bag, or a cushion. They should be no bigger, apparently, than your hand, and we were all working away very quickly.

We started with a small square, then picked up stitches on one edge in another yarn and knitted a ribbed rectangle. Then, in another yarn, came a crochet triangle or, for those of us who don’t crochet, one in knitting. And then stitches were picked up for another – and so on.

working away

Bee gave us two vital tips: first, and especially if you anticipate making a garment, stay within one colour scheme, mixing and matching textures; second, ‘go as mad as you like’ within a manufacturer’s single range, as the colours generally tone. Yes, you are ‘going mad’, but you are doing so in an intelligent way: it’s not just grabbing anything and incorporating it. Scary!

Bee also pointed out that repeating a couple of the yarn choices with different textures can give a piece a balanced look – and recommended making lots of scrumbles and then piecing them together rather than one at a time.

Here is an assortment of some of our scrumbles at the end of the day:

scrumble central

many with embellishments for added interest (or as a useful covering for anything we weren’t quite happy about).

And here’s a gallery of the work we produced on the day, plus a detail of one of Bee’s bags (the last one, with the curl). Just click on an image for a slideshow:

Huge thanks to Bee for a fabulous day – so enjoyable!

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Belated crochet!

At the end of February we had a crochet workshop, led by one of our members who is a stunning crocheter:

wowser

See why she was asked? This great take on the classic afghan is tied together and modernised with the use of the black. Fantastic.

Unfortunately, illness prevented this appearing on the blog immediately afterwards  – the first rule of whooping cough is ‘stay at home’ – so this is something of a catch up, with the things from the workshop that some of our members brought in for our March meeting (the whooping having subsided).

There were several crochet virgins:

starting outand some who were able to push their skills on to another level:

Not a learner, then

By the end of the session everyone was able to produce at least one granny square, or – if they could already do that – something more ambitious. Here’s a montage of the day, and the work:

Our next meeting, on 23 April, is the inkle loom workshop with Fiona Nesbit. If you need to borrow a loom, please let us know. Fiona is bringing some spares, and we have a couple of Guild looms, but there may be heavy demand for these. First come, first served!

Wrapping up for winter

Last year, when we were deciding what we wanted to do this year, we thought that our September meeting would be a good time to have one of our ‘show and tell’ sessions, but one with a theme. Shawls, scarves, cowls – things to keep us cozy and warm – that would be appropriate for autumn.

And despite the best Indian summer (or haf bach Mihangel, here) that we’ve had in years, we all duly turned up with fistfuls of winter warmers. What a show, and what a variety of colours and crafts. It started off in a restrained way,

the start

with room to spread the work out flat and careful examination of technique (here a shawl made on a knitting frame from hand-dyed sample skeins, some crochet and some knitting – all from one member who loves making shawls though she personally doesn’t wear them very much; great for her friends and family).

By the end we’d had to push tables together to accommodate the growing collection, and had a mountain of colour and texture and loveliness to admire and stroke.

part of the haul

There was everything – all sorts of fibres (New Zealand possum yarn really caught our attention; it was very, very soft and the shawl in question was in a delicious cherry red) as well as a rich variety of techniques.

There were scarves crocheted from unspun fleece:

crochet fleece

and others which were woven or made using various felting techniques – here’s a scribble-felt throw behind the unspun scarf. There was meticulous bobbin lace:

bobbin lace

so beautiful, and light as a feather; there were scarves and shawls knitted with commercial yarns,

shawls

like this very effective Dreambird, which works well with the dark and a Noro yarn, and ones made with hand-dyed yarns,

shawls2

and others with handspun, both dyed and naturally coloured:

shawls3

This, for example, is a Hearts and Flowers lace shawl in Shetland. Several of us had brought things which hadn’t travelled far – one shawl was knitted with handspun from a flock in the next village, others had been fleeces given by local farmers, raw fleece had been gathered from fences, and there also was a WiP (work in progress) being made in a neighbour’s alpaca – but the black hearts and flowers and this scarf

crochet scarf

were both made from the owner’s sheep. You can’t get more local than that…

And now, finally, the weather does seem to be cooling down. Not that we’re complaining, but it will be nice to get to wear our scarves and shawls again.

Fleece to throw (almost) !

Our Guild meet on a Thursday every month in the Memorial Hall in Penygroes. It’s a good centre for us, an ideal space and it’s welcoming. But it needs a new roof. As part of the fundraising effort, we decided to have a sponsored ‘fleece to throw’ event, and then raffle the resulting throw.

We decided on a design of nine knitted squares of the same design, each twelve inches square, separated by panels of six-inch crocheted squares in a variety of patterns. To save time and effort at the beginning, we decided to work with raw fleece.

A Lleyn fleece was obtained – of course. How could we have considered using anything else?

On the day, we had about eight spinners, all whirring away:

So that the knitters could get started, we stopped when our bobbins were about half full, and one of the spinners began plying while the others carried on.

Soon the needles were in action,

all working away on the same pattern:

Then some people started working on the crochet squares too.

We’ve still got work to do before we can post a picture of the finished throw – so not quite a one-day wonder (it’s the holiday season, and quite a few members couldn’t be there), but we did demolish the fleece and have already raised a respectable amount of money in sponsorship. Watch this space!