February was filled with making hats. Cold winds over the hills where I walk my dog made hats a necessity over February’s snowy days. So I made just a few, to vary my head warm and decoration. These were great instant gratification projects, none taking longer than a few days.
I can’t believe its over a month since I last posted. I’ve been so busy making Xmas pressies for people. Which I’ll wait until I’ve given them out to post on here so not to spoil any surprises. There’s even some knitting sprinkled through my creations 🙂 This month has been spent learning to knit and I’m finding it rather relaxing. I just love my big red plastic needles, very funky and comfortable to use with chunky wool that means I can progress quite quickly. I tried a bit of my fingering (2ply) yarn but that was far too fiddley so I think I’ll leave the lacey look for crochet whilst I practice knitting with the big soft fluffy stuff.
I had a bit of a splash out and purchased a copy of Jenny Dowde’s Freeform Knitting and Crochet so I could venture more into free-form and get ideas and techniques for “taking your yarn for a walk”. Its an ace introduction to freeform for newbies like me which gives an overview of all the different parts of the process of creating items from yarn filled with gorgeous inspirational pictures. Jenny encourages you to experiment with design, try out new things and create your own beautiful piecves of fibre art. I have several favourite bits of the book already and still haven’t finished reading it all!!. She gives some instructions on creating scrumbles/fragments, taking you through the process stitch by stitch. It’s great to have some scrumble templates to use as a start point for creating my own. One chapter covers details of some funky fx and different stitches she uses in her freeform creations and another details connecting pieces together and different techniques. Again this is really good for reference and to get a good grip on the how-to’s of freeform. There’s also a selection of projects with how-to’s which I think are a great base point for creating your own freeform marvels. They are different from patterns as no detailed instructions are given rather these give an overview of how each project was made and ideas for making your own. These are lovely pieces that agive ideas for where you can go with freeform. I’d highly recommend the book to people new to freeform, asit really breaks free-form down into managable chunks showing you how to create your own. Perfect for if you are thinking of giving freeform a go and would like a bit of guidance on where to start. Some of the pics from the book can also be seen on Jenny Dowde’s blog.
My Fragment Beret
My hat obsession was fed by the how-to for the fragments beret in Freeform Knitting and Crochet. So I decided this would be my first creation inspired by the book. I used a variety of black and blue/green/turquoise yarns. About 10 different textures I think which included DK, eyelash, lurex metal threaded yarn, chunky and 2-ply. Instructions from Fragment 2 were used as a start point for creating my scrumbles using a mix of knitting and crochet but I varied with the stitches used from the template given. I prefered to start with a knitted fragment then add on crochet around it. Each scrumble contained a mix of the yarns and I tried to balance out colour and texture through the overall piece. I used a crochet hat I had made previously as my template and safety pinned fragments/scrumbles onto it. I added a bead to each scrumble – 7 in total. Then joined them together using sc on either inside to hide the join or outside when I wanted a ridge. Holes were filled in using dc/tc. Finally I used 4 types of black yarn and made a band to fit it onto my head. As I crocheted the band I checked it fit by trying on every row. I’m really pleased with how its turned out. Its lovely and warm and great for covering the ears against the bitterly cold weather.
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.
I started off with a bunch of basic circular and spiral scrumbles in shades of red and pink.
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.
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……