Here’s the eye catching postbox topper that my friend’s WI (Women’s Institute) put together for Remembrance Sunday.
Can you spot any of the crochet poppies that I sent her?
Offering to make some poppies was the best thing for me really. We had such a hot summer. I don’t usually do much crochet when it’s warm and even less so this year, as England had some of the highest temperatures since records began. But since I made some poppies I’ve got my crojo back again, with a vengeance. It’s probably the darker evenings and the cooler weather too.
I’ve been buzzing. I’ve looked through my crochet books, read the latest issues of Simply Crochet mag on the e-library site PressReader (it’s free! Great app. Really, really good) and dived into my storage cube to see what was in my yarn stash.
Making a resolution not to start anything new, but to finish off projects I’m already halfway through this year has not been that exciting. I’ve made some headway, but felt bored, so then ended up doing little.
I checked to see what yarn I already have, but of course I didn’t actually use any of it! I mean we don’t, do we?! That’s why we build up stashes in the first place. Mine’s modest because I’ve sent a friend some and donated other bits to a charity shop, so I reckoned I could buy a little something. I chose some brand-new Hayfield Spirit DK. I really like it. When there’s even 20% wool content it’s much nicer to work with than pure acrylic, and looks better as well. It should be warmer too. I never usually make wearables with 100% acrylic, but of course it’s far more affordable for big projects, such as blankets.
I started a virus shawl. Here’s a quick snap that I sent to a friend when we were sharing what we were making one night. It’s not a great photo, but it was enough for her to see what I was doing.
This is the autumn colour way, the people at Hayfield (Sirdar) must have been thinking of autumn flowers, such as dahlias and asters, because the colours don’t say autumn leaves to me.
Then although I was happy with how it looked, I realised I would probably never wear it. I’m more a scarf or cowl wearer. I unravelled it and started a virus blanket. I bought the pattern from Jonna Martinez. Here. There are lots of You Tubers whom you can crochet along with (fun thing to do) as you start your own Virus shawl or blanket. I did that to begin.
Jonna brought the Virus pattern back to the fore and made it famous – go viral. I have read that the Virus design is actually based on an old pattern from Rumania or Russia. This wouldn’t be a surprise; I don’t think there’s really much that’s original in crochet, we’re all replicating stitches and patterns that have been done over decades, maybe centuries.
Pretty colours, aren’t they? But you see the problem? You see what’s really, really, REALLY annoying me, that means I’m going to have to unravel it?
All I will say is that I am looking into the standing stitch and checking out various ways to do it. One crocheter made a video to demonstrate one and it really made me laugh, because she can hardly get her hook through the loop. I’m not sure about doing that version. Might give it a swerve and find another!
And then when I was reading Simply Crochet, issue 128, I found a Bobble Cowl design by Sue Pearson, that I really fancied making. Pattern available here too.
I remember how much I like crocheting bobbles. I started the cowl without really checking what size I would prefer, but happily it’s exactly the height of my favourite knitted Edenvale cowl. Here it is, I wear it all the time in the winter.
And that is what I’ve been making, making and unravelling, making and measuring, then sighing with relief when it’s right.
What about you? What are you making? Any unravelling going on? Any new yarn purchases?
I’ll be back soon with a new books post.
Am inspired to try the bobble cowl. My neighbour’s daughter, aged 14, has asked me for a crochet hook and yarn since she wants to crochet like her friend. She has started off using double crochet to make a scarf.
Lovely I look forward to seeing it Jane!
Oh that’s so good, I hope she enjoys learning to crochet.
I love that buzzy feeling when you suddenly feel inspiration ping in…I hope it continues for you. Your blanket beginning is lovely…I hope you find an easy solution to the ch-3 seam, keep me posted?!xxxx
I do too, it’s really special isn’t it?
Thanks Lucy, I will definitely keep you posted, like we said before it’s well worth checking out the different techniques. Some methods look tortuous, however! ‘Twist the hook in this direction while keeping your finger on the loop, yarn over…’
I was lucky enough to find a beautifully-made and gloriously-coloured virus shawl on Facebook marketplace for a mere R80 – I love a good bargain anyway, and I know I would never have got around to making one for myself. I’ll try and get a good pic one of these days then you’ll see what a treasure I found :) Your virus blanket is going to be stunning.
I’d love to see that Jill. What a bargain.
Gorgeous projects. I recently needlefelted a hare!
Oh wow! That sounds impressive
I use standing stitches a lot these days but only at the beginning of a piece of yarn. The methods I’ve seen as an alternative to the three chain seem to produce something that looks bulky. I’m making a few things lately. which I shared in a post but the ones I’m about to start are for potential Christmas presents so not revealed. Shame about the virus blanket but the cowl looks as if it will be lovely.
Not quite sure what you mean Jane, do you mean when you add a new colour into a piece of crochet? Or, you only use a standing stitch right at the beginning of a project? Instead of magic ring or channels foundation or chain and ss into a circle?
I mean that I use a standing stitch when I use a new colour. It looks like you need an alternative to 3 chain in the middle of a length of yarn. With a magic ring I have to use 3 chain of course.
Yes that’s it, I do. Just wasn’t sure what you meant. Can you email me a link to or description of the method you prefer to use, please?
Hmm I wonder if you can do a standing stitch after making a MR? Although I don’t like them particularly after hearing of friends’ blankets unravelling from the middle though! Eeeek!
A MR is probably less secure than a chain ring but I crochet over the tail, pull firmly then thread the yarn back in the opposite direction. It’s okay if you have no reason to mess with it.
The method I use for a standing stitch is my own invention if you like, in that all the methods I saw were different, It is here – https://rainbowjunkie.co.uk/tutorial-granny-bunting/ – The reason I do it that way is because you avoid the knot created if you start with a slip knot on the hook. It does mean that the top loop of the stitch is small and has to be pulled out a bit if you want to slip stitch into it but I quite like it because I tend to use an invisible join so I work over it anyway. I use it for dcs as well as trs.
Thank you! I’ll check it out.