I’ve had a long break from the blog while I’ve been hard at work over the summer but I have made a couple of shawls and a mandala bag. This is the bag from Lilla Bjorn crochet. I bought the pattern from her etsy shop here. I just love all her patterns and am now working on a shawl with another one to follow.
The first shawl I made was from Karen Whooley and the free pattern can be found here. The second one was from the book photographed below. They were both easy and made from one skein of the yarn I bought in Wales. I’m not sure if I’ll keep or gift them yet.
I have a few plans for upcoming projects now I have more time; but think I will put the crochet diploma on hold indefinitely. Time is limited and I would rather spend my time on projects of my choosing than follow a syllabus. Maybe if/when I retire I’ll go back to it. I’ve also decided to focus on crochet rather than any other crafts as this is the only one I love and there is still so much to explore. We went to an exhibition by Magdalene Odundo yesterday and, again, it was an inspiration and made me want to experiment with making pot shapes and crocheting over wire or cord. Here are some of her magnificent pots.
I sent off the final requirements for Part 1 of the International Diploma in Crochet last week. This included my report, my written exam, which I am not going to add a link to and my record of work. I also included a bibliography of the books I have referred to while doing the course.
My report on crochet held in local museums was a little disappointing as I drew a blank when it came to gaining access to the collection not on display due, I suppose, to cuts. However, I wrote it all up and am hoping all is well.
Doing the Diploma has been brilliant for me. It has given me direction, given me validation, as someone objective has told me my work is good and provided really useful feedback; and taught me new skills so I am now (a bit) more patient and definitely more conscientious about putting right mistakes. I tend to give myself self-imposed deadlines, which can cause a bit of stress so I am going to try and avoid that in future when it is not necessary.
So, what next?
Diploma – when (not if) to start Part 2. I’m going to be working all summer and am looking forward to having a break to work on my own projects before that so it’s tempting to wait until September. However, one of the great things about the Diploma is that there is no time limit. This means that I could get all the material now and mull it over while I’m doing other things and get down to earnest on it in the autumn. I suspect this is what I’ll do, and, despite trying to not give myself deadlines I’m already thinking of trying to complete it within 2 years i.e. September 2021. I’ll know whether this is realistic when I look at the material.
Experiments – I have some new and unusual yarn that I want to try out, and ideas for necklaces and other jewellery.
Skills – I am quietly working away at improving my jewellery-making skills through books and workshops at Raphael Crafts. I am having a go at spinning and designing a shawl for Pearl’s birthday.
Show – I am going to Wonderwool Wales in a few weeks and really looking forward to that as it will be my first yarn show. I’ve booked onto two workshops: beading and spinning; and I’m hoping to say hello to Pauline Turner there.
Blog – I’ve decided to take photos of all the crochet that I’ve made and still have in the house and add an archive of work completed before I started this blog. I’m also going to try and improve my photographic skills and may look at changing the appearance of the blog. We’ll see!
My bag was judged to be very good and I got some very useful feedback, which I have now acted upon. The original handles were a bit flimsy and it was suggested that I put in extra rows of dc above and below the handle to strengthen it. I decided to return to the yarn used for the Tunisian and to do a couple of rows of Tunisian as this fabric was much stiffer and stronger. Dc rows were added as well. The result, above, is more functional and, I think, more attractive.
I finally got an Excellent for my filet. So pleased! And my shaped piece got a Very Good. This was because the corners were rounded as I’d only put 2 dc in each one. I should have put in 3. I had been a little unsure about this and had gone for consistency, so it’s good to know.
I’m so pleased. I made this . . .
into this . .
This was my final project that had to include Tunisian and broomstick crochet so I designed this myself. The yarn from Wool and the Gang was great and I think it’s somewhat sustainable. I’ll be looking at it again and I’ve got more ideas for using the raffia and the broomstick. I found the Tunisian hard work, especially with a 4mm hook but am quite taken with the Broomstick. The raffia holds its shape so you can take all the loops off together, instead of trying to prise them off in groups, which can be a pain. All the details are here.
Not wishing to tempt fate, but if these pass they will be my final samples. I know they’re not perfect but reasonably pleased with both so hopefully all will be well.
I’d completely forgotten about this piece. I think I may have misunderstood the brief, which says ‘Include Tunisian textured stitches within a square of Tunisian crochet.’ I have done this very literally but maybe it means ‘a square of textured Tunisian’. I don’t mind if I have to do it again as I love the effect of Tunisian and am happy doing it on a small hook but I can’t find a way to do it comfortably on a long hook.
Broomstick and edgings. I liked doing all of these but I’m a bit concerned as to whether I should have done more rows of trc between my broomstick rows. I just have the shaped piece and my filet edging to do (for which I am waiting for Pauline Turner’s Crochet Lace from the library.)