Sunday, August 13, 2006

Crochet Cotten Purse (and Ikea box thing)

While I'm on a roll, might as well post up this cotten purse, which I made while on holiday in Cornwall. On the drive down we stopped off in a town called Okehampton. I'd been feeling a bit annoyed with my decision not to bring anything to crochet and so when I spotted a wool shop I popped in and bought some natural cotton, a size 3.5mm crochet hook and a small turquoise zip (since there wasn't a matching zip available). Then I knocked up this amazing bit of artistry, whose purpose in life I still haven't fully decided. I probably should have lined it, or made a little interior pocket, but as usual I can always be relied on to do the bare minimum when creating an item.

After the holiday, because I'm a masochist and wanted to ensure that all the goodness and relaxation I'd enjoyed over my break was well and truly wiped away, I took Al to Ikea to spend 5 hours walking around staring at poorly constructed flat pack items. How could I resist when I saw a selection of crochet storage box things? I purchased a four set of the knick-knack houses and now have them littered liberally about my abode. They're made from sterner stuff than the cotton purse, but I was nevertheless pleased with their matchyness. The only bad thing is that they bring to mind that string box I started making ages ago, which is still languishing unfinished in my workbox. Maybe some day I'll finish it off. In the meantime, you can buy a job lot from Ikea for £7...

Friday, August 11, 2006

Pink Crochet Shrug

The lack of blogging recently is truly shameful, especially since I finished this pink shrug thing ages ago and now have a small backlog of recently made items to blog about. Last night I started browsing some of my favourite crafty blogs (something else I've been remiss in lately) and the fire of blogging enthusiasm was rekindled within me. So here I am, ready and willing to discuss stitch issues and other gripping wool-related incidents.

I'm feeling pretty good about how this particular garmet turned out. Why's that, I hear you ask (those that have actually managed to make it to this second paragraph)? Why, it's because I made the pattern up all on my very own (actually, that's a *slight* fib - I used the excellent pink shrug schematics from Crochetville to explain the dark arts of making up your own patterns). Now it's not strictly the first garment I've mustered up using the power of my own mind, but the last one had to be abandoned once I realised the wool was just too stiff.

This one was made using an altogether floppier yarn, which worked out a treat. (Wool fact fans, it's called Polysew Whisper So Soft, colour 107, 100% acryllic. I bought it from a little market stall and I haven't been able to find mention of it online - apart from someone flogging it on eBay). The reason it's not actually a full size cardigan as planned is because I'm far too impatient and just couldn't be bothered to make it any bigger. Also, when I was coming back down the other side and reducing stitches, I made a point of reducing stiches in the same places I'd increased stitches on the other arm. Turns out, that doesn't really work - and so there's a twisting line going up one arm and a straight line down the other. I think that would be less obvious if I made a bit of effort to steam it, but as already mentioned, that would require effort on my part and I'm pacing myself.

Finally, it's plain to see that the most exciting thing in this picture is not actually the pink shrug but the amazing crocheted frock I'm wearing (with no small amount of self-satisfaction). The reason for the self-satisfaction is two-fold. First up, I was on holiday when that shot was taken and that's me in our lovely B&B room (which was more like a hotel than most hotels) and the second reason is that the dress only cost me £15! FIFTEEN POUNDS! Bloody amazing. I can't quite imagine ever being able to make such a gorgeous garment myself, and certainly not for that price. God knows what sweatshop it was knocked up in - although I like to believe that it was made using a crochet machine. I have no idea if crochet machines exist or not, but I hope to god they do - there's so much crocheted stuff on sale at the moment for ridiculously low prices that the idea that they're hand made is just too awful to imagine.