Archive | November 2012

Fruits Hat

I had such fun making a lovely warm hat for my head.  And the bonus is it doubles as a teacosy 🙂 It’s perfect for walking Jasmine out on the windy hills, really snug and wooly.

This hat is inspired by the absolutely beautiful freeform hats Renate Kirkpatrick makes – check them out on her blog Rensfibreart.

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I started off with a bunch of basic circular and spiral scrumbles in shades of red and pink.

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I made a hat shaped mesh and attached the scrumbles onto it using single crochet. The pink area was made to flop over the top like a pixie hat.

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Then I hit the really fun part.  Decorating the hat and letting my imagination run wild. This is also the part that takes the most time! I filled in the gaps with more crochet, buttons and beads and added a funky tassel. Building up a range of textures and adding surface crochet to areas of interest.  The hardest part is knowing when to stop……

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Grey Skies Freeform crochet scarf – how I made it

Grey skies freeform scarf

I’ve been having such fun doing the UK freeformers challenges over on Ravelry.   The group is great for inspiration, tips on how to do things, support and generally drooling over the beautiful items members create.  I thought I’d share here how I made my scarf for the CAL.  But as its free-form it’s not a tutorial as such but more a guide of what I did so you can make your own individual version if you wish.

The latest challenge was to create a freeform scarf or cowl.  Instructions for the challenge: “With winter approaching, our next cal is a scarf or cowl. The choice of colour, yarn, and stitch patterns is yours, but only trebles (US double crochet) and chains can be used.”  You can see the beautiful designs other Ravelry members made as part of the CAL in the UK Freeformers Scarf/cowl CAL-thread.  (You may need to join Ravelry to be able to view their forums, but its free to join and full of inspiration and tips for crochet and knitting).

I started off by looking through my stitch pattern books for tc (US dc) and chain only patterns.  One I found especially useful was The Complete Book of Crochet Stitch Designs.  This book shows pictures of each pattern with both charts and instructions on how to create them.   Perfect for when you are making your own patterns up.  I found some good stitch patterns that are dc/chain only in the dc and chain, shell, x-stitch and puff stitch chapters and bookmarked them so I could easily flip from one pattern to the next as I crocheted along.

My floor was then hidden beneath a huge yarn pile of black and grey yarns that would be suitable for this project.  My initial inspiration for the scarf was the grey winter evening skies that flow from black through the grey of the clouds.   I wanted a neutral scarf that would go with any outfit so chose a grey to black colour scheme. I needed a variety of textures and shades as I wanted the scarf to be very tactile.    Therefore the yarn weights varied from thin 2-ply up to chunky weight.  I especially love King Coles Galaxy sequins yarn it adds such glamour to a project and I also added in a couple of yarns which had silver thread running through them for a bit of sparkle.   Winter is so dull a girl needs plenty of sparkle to brighten the days up.  But any yarns that you have on hand can be used to create a freeform scarf.

I made the first “fish” scrumble using treble pattern stitches and the range of black and grey yarns.  I was drawn to creating a gradient moving from the darker to the lighter yarns.   I worked in rows and each time I changed yarn I altered the stitch pattern that I was using.  I increased and decreased randomly as well to give the scrumble a wavy effect.   I varied the stitch patterns using shell stitches, X-stitches, puff-stitches, dcs and chains.

First scrumble

Its really easy to create a scarf in this fashion. Just change the the yarn every few rows.  And each time you change the yarn you use a differnt stitch pattern.   If you find a pattern you really like the look of you can use it again further down the scarf.  There’s no set structure, just follow what feels right for the next section.
An example of how I did this:  The nose of the scrumble was created by chaining 1 then adding 2  treble crochets (US double crochets) in sequin yarn.  Each row I increased at the edges of each row  adding 2 tcs to expand it outwards. After about 5 rows I changed the yarn to a plain black dk then  added a simple mesh pattern of tc, chain 2, tc for 3 rows.    I continued addng more rows of  yarn using different tc stitch patterns.  E.g. When I switched to a grey chunky yarn I changed to using a X-stich and decreased the number of stitches per row to make the scrumble curve back in.    I added a  slightly fluffy grey yarn (King Cole haze) to make 2 rows of tc puff stitches  separated by 2 chains.   The eyelash yarn at the end is weaved in then dcs used to secure it in place.   This scrumble measured 36cm long and 16cm at widest part.  Its a  big scrumble that ended up being a 3rd of the scarf!!

The next scrumble I moved from grey to black  but varied the sequence of the colour change so it wasn’t identical to the first piece.  I used different stitch patterns from the first scrumble   which gives it a distinct wavey shape, but again it is all in treble and chains.  The change in stitch patterns and colour order I hope means it doesn’t look too organised when the two are together. This piece measured 40cm long and 18cm wide max and I nicknamed it “the squid”

2nd scrumble

For the 3rd scrumble I worked from black to grey again altering the order of the yarns and the stitch patterns that I used.

3rd scrumble

All 3 scrumbles were attached together with safety pins so I could see how the scarf flowed and draped.   As some of the thinner parts stretched too much for my liking.  I worked around these sections of the scarf adding horizontal mesh to make the scarf wider in parts and to help it drape well.  I used a simple mesh pattern of tc, chain 2, tc.  I then used dcs to attach the 3 scrumbles together and removed the pins. Ta-dah one finished scarf.

scarf detail

I’m really pleased with how this turned out. Its great for this cold weather and was such fun to make.  Although it takes longer to complete an item I find freeform much more enjoyable than repeating the same pattern over and over.    Its suprisingly easy once you get started and as the stitch patterns and yarns vary each item is wonderfully unique.  Which really appeals to my individualistic, eclectic tastes.

And here I am modelling the finished item, looking immensely pleased with making the scarf. 🙂

Modeling the grey skies freeform crochet scarf