I’m going to a wedding in August and I’ve been experimenting with necklaces to wear with my coral coloured shift dress. I may wear a grey jacket, depending on the weather, so it was a good opportunity to try out the beautiful charcoal coloured linen yarn I bought at Wonderwool. Here are the results:
This necklace is from this book by Lily M Chin. It’s a very simple spiral design with beads added. I’m very pleased with the result but my husband said it looked like a christmas decoration so we’ll see.
These two necklaces are my own design. The first is made of four chains, two of the charcoal linen and two of lurex thread, plaited together. I really like the slightly stiff result. The second one is a long chain of linen yarn with beads crocheted in. You can see the large ones but there are also tiny coral ones. This is the favourite to be worn on the day and I will make earrings to go with it.
This one is a bit different. It looks red/orange but is, in fact, a soft coral. The pattern in the book is for strips of raw silk but I used two strands of DK cotton and a 7mm hook. It worked well but I’m not sure it’s something I’ll wear.
I got some wonderful nettle yarn from yarnyarn, who sell really exciting yarns that are ethically and environmentally produced, something I want to focus on a lot more. I wanted to make something that showed the lovely texture of the yarn so decided on this chain necklace. I made a very long chain on a generous-sized hook and folded it over to give 8 strands to the necklace. Then I bound black yarn around the chain at intervals to add some interest, and a chunky clasp that can be worn either decoratively at the front, or hidden away behind the neck. I am very pleased with the result. A statement necklace that has already drawn compliments.
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!
Success . .
This is so simple, but so nice. It’s made of DK man-made fibre, which is a bit shiny. I crocheted 4 long chains using a 3mm (I think!) hook and then braided them together. I made it to match a new dress I bought. It doesn’t really look crocheted and it’s perfect with my dress. I need to do some calculations for how much yarn I need for a length of braid to avoid wastage. I was so chuffed with this necklace that I made this . . .
Flop . . .
The idea was to make a necklace for Sarah’s birthday. She loves orange and I wanted to see what happened when I used two colours. This is man-made DK but without the sheen. The green was on the outside of the four strands and the orange in the middle. This created two vertical stripes down the length of the braid. The result is like a wooly, garish snake – more suitable as a child’s toy than a grown woman’s necklace. You live and learn!
Following on from my hairpin crochet experience I’ve had a little foray into braiding. I tried kumihimo, lucet and now macrame. I liked the results of all three but couldn’t imagine making anything sizeable out of kumihimo (I’m too impatient) despite the wonderful wooden tool (marudai) they use. I like the lucet – it’s simple and very portable – and will probably experiment with it more. But the most versatile, easiest and most creative seems to be macrame. These are my first two attempts for friends’ birthdays this weekend. They were very simple to do and I’m pretty pleased with the results (if not the photos). I want to try more complex braiding with macrame now and it’s on my to do list for when I finish part 1.
Helen’s capsule wardrobe is based on black so I made her this black and cream cotton necklace with a 1.5 mm hook and 4 ply yarn. I hope she likes it.
I also made her a replacement earring as she had lost one.
Helen’s mobius – this is the one I’m most pleased with. It’s Aran weight pure wool and a 6mm hook. I made a foundation htrc, and went into the stitch on both sides rather than the chain so I avoided the hole down the centre line. I also changed direction after each row, rather than spiralling. I might try staggering the starting point after each colour change for an even smoother join next time. The first row is trc, then a crossed trc for a bit of texture; then 2 htrc into alternate stitches for the coloured section; then back to trc, then dc and crab stitch to finish. I steamed it to neaten. I love it and hope Helen does too.
Ian’s mobius – this was inspired by my red shawl that Ian admired a lot a couple of years ago. I’m very pleased with the result but a bit apprehensive about what Ian will make of it.
It’s chunky weight, 8mm hook, with Catherine wheel pattern in the centre and some mix of colours (red, orange, green). I blocked and stretched it but am still worried that it’s a bit short.
This was a last minute decision. I was inspired by a dress Hilary has, which has stripes which I think are these colours or similar. Hilary is not an ‘out-there’ person but I think she likes a bit of colour. I love it and hope she does too. The navy is 4ply cotton but the other colours are a bamboo mix-a bit softer and shinier. I did an additional row of DC around the central ring and added beads either side.
A necklace for me. I made this yesterday as a last minute attempt to xmatise my outfit for Anne’s party. It’s 4-ply black cotton and a 3mm hook. I threaded the beads onto a double strand and made 25 chain before adding beads. There are 2 ch between each bead. I really like it and will wear it over Christmas but I may dismantle it afterwards and reuse the beads.