Wednesday, 30 March 2011

The Dark Side.....

If you've been into the shop at all, you'll know that I spend much of my crafting time doing commissions for other people. I love it because of the challenge. One of the biggest challenges for me is all the crochet that I have been asked to do. I only learned to crochet about 2 years ago, after many years of trying. It was the lovely Pete who sat me down and sorted me out - I'm forever in his debt. For the longest time I was happy enough to granny square along, see this granny square blanket of doom.

The cat looks content but I wasn't happy that I was less than half way through and I'd been doing it for nearly a year. But it got done and its beautiful and is happily scrunched up on my bed as we speak (so no FO picture here).

Until I opened the shop thats as far as I got. I think the biggest part of the problem was that I had to look at the work as I was doing it which is something I haven't had to do in knitting for years. It was turning TV programmes into radio programmes and don't shoot me for this but I am not a big fan of the radio.

My Grandma on my dad's side was a big crocheter and it was beautiful. Here's a close up of one of her immaculate doilies.

My other Grandma hates crochet and she was the one still around to influence me, so crochet was never really on my radar. I also think that because there's not a machine that can crochet it never became part of the mainstream like knitting is (incidentally, it's not often that you see true crochet in the shops and if you do it's hand made which is something to think about when you consider the prices that they charge...).

Crochet is definitely on the up at the minute, I think its because of the revival in knitting and handicrafts which started around five years ago and also because of the interest in the seventies. And as crochet becomes more popular there are more websites devoted to it. Hopefully this will translate into more patterns and more modern patterns for us to be able to provide for you. Here's hoping.

So here's a few things that I have been up to crochet-wise since the shop has been open.

This was my first crochet commission ever. It was also the first thing that I reverse engineered in crochet. The original was from H&M and it was a much loved and much battered summer hat to keep his afro under control. The H&M hat is no longer, I cannabalised it for the plastic rim. Here's a close up.

It's a funny sort of a rib. I made a basic treble hat in a sort of slouchy beanie style. And then made vertical ribs by chaining and slip stitching bi-secting the hat into six sections. I know now that I could have incorporated the vertical ribs at the time of crocheting the actual hat thus saving me about half an hour's worth of sewing in ends. 

Technically I haven't crocheted this since the shop has been opened but I have crocheted a similar one as a commission that's happily adopted in it's new home, so you'll have to coco with this (available to buy in the shop so I'm not completely cheating). You eagle eyed crocheters will see just how simple this but it was my first introduction to anything other than trebles and chains and how I learned to increase and to crochet into the front and back legs. It is a curly wurly scarf, dead long and silky smooth in an alpaca.

And here I am back again crocheting granny squares but this time I'm making a patchwork jacket and it really is a coat of many colours. The mission statement for the job is to make it as near as possible to an awful seventies monstrosity blanket. The lady choose five or six central colours that she really liked and told me to use up all my odds and sods provided there weren't pastels, neon or red. Boy have I had fun, a hundred and one squares in under a week, just the ends to weave in now - wish me luck.

So its called the dark side because now I'm obsessed with crochet I've got no time for my bloody knitting! And on that note I'm off to hook some more.
See you soon

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