Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Happy Feet

THESE ARE HAPPY FEET, not least because they are wearing happy feet slippers from the NORO knitting magazine. I bought this in June but only just completed the slippers. They are soooo comfy! And WARM! Which is good because my feet are always cold. ( except in Corfu)
 I made them with NORO Kureyon bought especially in London and a 3.5 mm hook and made one slipper which I then frogged completely as it was way too big. See photos later on. I decided I needed a 23st start chain thus having a core chain of 22 sts. I followed the pattern for the toe and heel shaping but reduced the DCs in between accordingly. The top I kept the same except for working to 24 rows and increasing to 22 and then 24 sts at the last few rows. ( most of it is at 20 sts)
 I like it both the right way out : ''proper'' and inside out, when the edge trim disappears or appears as ''teeth''.

 I added a bit at the back to make them more comfortable. I can't keep ''slip-ons'' on my feet very well....
Just a few rows going back and forth in D.C. and Half trebles linking to the top cover panel each time and decreasing a bit to keep it all nicely snug.
Here they are inside out. Now you can't see the outside trim edge. I like them this way too.

 See teeth!
It's colourway 311 with the pinks and greens in the sole and the blue/ terracotta on the top. It's really fun seeing the colours developing.
 I used the 5 rows from the pattern for the sole and for the 6th and final row I worked mainly dc with a few half trebles ( UK) in strategic places to even out the curves for a better fit. 10 Half trebles in fact, just before the outward sweep of the toe shaping curve.

And here is the first attempt: following the pattern and only reducing a few stitches here and there.

 The front of the foot felt fine but there was too much sole at the back....
I have such small but very wide feet. A size 3  U.K.or European size 36.
 I measured the excess and measured what the 5 cm meant in dc terms: that meant taking out 8 dcs.

 It was a cold and miserable weather sort of day with much torrential rain hammering on my poor car's roof.
I had hurt my left knee and hip in London lugging my laptop case about and was resting it in bed with hot compresses. A perfect day for crochet.Cold and wet and still in August too.
Talking of crochet: I have finished the rainbow cowl and been wearing it, not yet photographed it though.
The circles lace has come along too , I'm making fingerless gloves to match the cowl but ran out of yarn so I must order some on-line as the shops didn't have the shades I need. And I visited the crocheted LIONS outside the Natural History Museum , albeit briefly and have some hazy photos... Or google Shauna Richardson and see a whole lot more including a video of her making them!
All of this and catch up on St Andrews and Corfu still to come.

And I have pre-ordered the NORO CROCHET booklet/ magazine and await it eagerly in November!
The previews are up to see online and look amazing: diagonal miniskirt, necklace, lovely elegant cowl and stripey jacket cardigans...

How exciting!  But no NORO or other yarn slippers for the family, they almost killed themselves laughing at my slippers this evening. Apparently and I quote: ''  I'd rather have breadsticks for X-mas than those slippers...''. Uh oH. Cries quietly in corner. My lot do NOT appreciate the fine ART of crochet.
Still I was happy to listen to the giggles and laughter after all it IS the best medicine. And JJ bless him wasn't as disparaging as most. Even played a - slippers on the hands- clapping game with me that had us ALL collapse in giggles again.

Sunday, 19 August 2012

Crochet in August 2012

At last an update albeit a brief one as I will need to go acquire some sleep soon. ( 8 minutes before midnight)
Crochet that joyful pastime for me has been rare of late mainly due to the WW programme which encourages ACTIVITY such as walking or cycling rather than sitting still and crocheting....
Can't complain though as I have reshaped by just under 2 STONE and feel ABSOLUTELY FABULOUS as a result. Back to crochet: partly no time as above but also because I do like making garments I have slowed down as I sinply no longer have any space at all in my wardrobe for the crocheted jackets to lay while awaiting being worn.

This is partly due to new clothes for my new size (10 or 12 ) and partly due to dance dresses acquired for my increased participation in Scottish Country Dancing.

So If the jackets have nowhere to go then it's better if they stay in the work basket?!

Anyway back to crochet: I have the white SALICE jacket 89% finished and a white 4 ply circle top on the go but also took 1250 g of cotton and bamboo yarns to CORFU on holiday, thinking with a WHOLE WEEK of nothingness I might get a lot of crochet done?
Not so! At 32- 38 degrees C in daytime and 28-30 degrees at night It was TOO HOT to crochet and to stay cool I was mostly to be found IN THE SEA. Swimming or floating or walking or just treading water...BLISS but no crochet.

I did attempt a bit as you can see and a very sandy sweaty effort it was too. To amuse myself I tried a few gauge samples to learn the stitch patterns of the sweaters in Dora's new book. I took a Bamboo cotton King Cole yarn DK and a 4mm hook and started with the shawl collar tunic on page 63.
And that was it  just too hot and sandy. I did read a book every 2 days though so that was 3 books read.
On the flight home I thought: well let's try an experiment. I 'll take ONE hook and see if it's confiscated and at £1.25 it might be worth a try. I took yarn and the book and guess what: IT WAS ALLOWED!!!
Please note though I didn't bring scissors and ensured I could break this yarn by pulling it firmly. 
So on the 3 hour flight home on Easy jet I crocheted THREE yes 3 gauge samples with other stitch patterns from the book.

Here are my projects, book, yarn and hook and sweets all ready to go.
Easily accessed on the plane 
First sample was the crossed trebles one but I'm not sure I like it in a plain yarn, that mini mochi really makes it sing.It's Fiji on page 81.

THEN UPtown on p 111- I LOVE this stitch pattern! The vertical lines are subtle and take a while to appear, in fact they are more pronounced when you stretch it widthways.

And finally just before landing: the hug shrug and my start chain was too tight so it buckles a lot. Probably my tension reflected the landing process? This was the fastest 3 hours ever, it FLEW by pardon the pun.

The Shrug hug sample was done with this view as below:

And this is the hilariously over estimated amount of yarn I took to Corfu:

This amounted to 1250 g i.e. over a kilo of my precious 20 kg allowance. For once I didn;t go over being 19.2 kg on the way OUT and 20.5 on the way back ( But daughter was under 18 kg so it was OK)
I brought home just 5 samples for the 7 days away. The pale blue DK COTTON one was from page 71 the IN VEST which I did on Friday night in the hotel room and on the balcony in the balmy evening/night air.

Working with the Baby Bamboo smiley stripes had been going awry when I tried to do flowers or motifs as the colour change repeat is too short and it looked all patchy and just plain ''wrong''.
Until I hit upon THIS pattern stitch- I thought of it as I studied a stripey scarf knitted in tis yarn by a child- it suddenly struck me that I wanted those same stripes to appear in MY CROCHET.....So I needed a very short or small stitch to allow STRIPES to develop. VOILA:

That was what I started and then I got ''hooked literally'' as it's such fun watching the colours juxtapose differently on each row.... Very '' MISSONI'' I think?
So that's all folks, it's just turned 20th August and that's all the crochet that's been happening so far.
I have had the immense pleasure and am hugely grateful for having been able to go dancing for an entire week as well as visit the lovely town of St Andrews AND as mentioned above been to Corfu with Miss E and photos of those jaunty happenings will be appearing in a while.
Grateful. Blessed. Had so much fun! Thankful. Blissful .The past 4 weeks have been PURE JOY.

Saturday, 4 August 2012

Local walks, Local growth and a muddy dog

Local walks with local growth, the above were taken on 26 May 2012.
And here is what it has looked like since;