Thursday, 25 November 2010

A crochet cushion

Some people are knitters. Me, I have crossed over to the other side and am firmly a crocheter. Mainly because it is quicker I have to say. I also love the way it seems to be easier to make very free sculptural items; you can change shape and gear so easily with only one hook. I do love it and try to have a crochet project on the go most of the time.

So good for hands like mine with a compulsive making disorder, I mean a perfectly healthy need to keep busy.

This latest offering took a few goes to get right. I was not following a pattern but knew I wanted a circle in a square for a seat pad. The first attempt was too gappy:

I worked out that each row I had to make sure that the 'clusters' of stitches were bigger than the gaps in between. And, that the circle grew enough for the fabric to stay flat and not accidentally decrease and pucker up.

I got the idea for using a jumper as the back piece from Attic24 again. I simplified it a little as sadly I could not persuade Mr Year Above the Shop to part with his red lambswool sweater and so found this cardigan in my local Oxfam shop.

It all worked out for the best as the buttons naturally provided the opening for the seat pad. Great.

I pinned it right sides together and ran a blanket stitch around the edges. I then turned it out and ran another blanket stitch, this time with thicker wool, to give it a bit of shape and a decorative edge:

It will live on one of our kitchen chairs, on the frontline of weaning and family mealtimes. Sorry cushion.

Monday, 22 November 2010

Fixing a hole

I made this blanket whilst I was pregnant at the end of last year and into the beginning of this one. I followed the directions for Summer Garden Granny squares at Attic24, a wonderful resource for the crocheter.

It was great. Portable, used up all the little bits, plenty of room for colour palette creativity. A car journey here, a film there, and before you know it, you have yourself a blanket.

I searched around for the right way to join them together - I did not want any little ridges - and found a good method here that keeps it all flat.

But look what tiny little fingers, attached to strong flapping arms have done:

So in the snatched moments between tending to the sick I did some repair work. And now it is back to its proud self:

The decision to use grey as the joining colour came from my mosaic days, when grey grout used to make all colours sing. I think here it does the same, quietly providing the outline and working well with the darks and the lights. 

I enjoy this blanket every day, I really do.

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Corners of my home

A seasonal illness has been working its way through the household, taking us all out one by one. So, not much time or energy for making. Boo. But a bit of time to play around with the things on my walls during those long hours quarantined.

A few newly assembled and distinctly orange corners of my home:

a collection of Hungarian plates from my grandmother's kitchen wall, a Hannah Hoch print, a still life painted by my grandfather entitled 'Breakfast Time', a plate painted by Kathie Winkle, an Indian cartoon extolling the virtues of good habits, and a postcard of a wartime poster about the importance of eating fresh food.

L-R: a linocut I made earlier this year: Polly immortalised it here,  'Heligoland' by Massive Attack, a vase from my grandmother's house, a speaker souped up by my uncle Anthony and a glass lamp from my grandmother's house.

Clockwise from the top: a papercut (part of a bigger installation I made for an old exhibition called 'Winter Stories', a clock found in a Brussels flea market, an ink drawing made by Theodore and Kathleen Major, a Kathie Winkle plate, a copy of a Hiroshige woodcut, and a mosaic I made out of crockery backstamps of the Thames.

There is something about the collection. Something that makes images stronger together. Or, maybe it is a case of too much art and not enough walls. Either way, assembling pieces made and found like this suits me as a means for my tastes and acquisitions to be constantly evolving.

Friday, 12 November 2010

Orange homage #1

As autumn gives way to winter, a tribute to mighty orange (and red):

the scene last week at Westonbirt arboretum
a work in progress happening on my hook:

One season above the shop nearly over, and there is so much making to be done.

Monday, 8 November 2010

Way out west #2: a rainbow shirt

Last week a young friend had his fourth birthday. This lovely flame-haired boy is currently into all things wordy. So I thought I would do his own word, on a t-shirt. Long sleeved for the cold months ahead.  

With all the sun and rain we are having in this amazing autumn, a rainbow popped naturally into my mind. We saw three in one day a couple of weeks ago.

I designed and made this freezer paper stencil t-shirt. They are really such a joy these stencils. I cannot recommend them enough. We took it on our trip west and I think he liked it.

He wore it to his birthday party, an honour. It looked really great with the chocolate train cake and four blazing candles.

a year above the shop

a year above the shop