Monday, 23 February 2015

Covering Up!

Several years ago a fabulous and thoughtful friend gave me a Book Journal.
It has been a brilliant resource for recording all those details from most recent reading material that are replaced or confused when new novel excitement kicks in! 
Also it extends the thinking processes whilst recording the raw emotions as the end of a brilliant book is reached.
(This must have started at an early age as I have a childhood copy of Watership Down with an annotated list of rabbit names!)
My mum often makes notes during the books she reads - she had a list of interesting characters from Harry Potter to keep her feet on the ground in the plot! 
For Christmas we gave her a Book Journal in which to keep her notes. Using a hardback spiral bound notebook covered in some handmade felt.

A wet photo! 

Front....


 ...and back


Attached with a loose crochet strap..


 ...and some dodgy stitching...


 the cover is detachable


 ...and intentionally very thin felt to keep the bulkiness to a minimum ..
the silver elastic is an original feature of the book


...its a bit delicate for a cover, but I know it will be well cared for!


Full of memories from crafty projects!




Both Angela and Zed create the most amazing felt book and diary covers, Zed's stitching is beautiful...and there are a wide range of photo tutorials on both blogs....which I am off to check out...

Monday, 9 February 2015

Flower Power

Prudence Mapstone, a truly colourful inspiration to all freeformers, is generously giving an exciting opportunity for creative crocheters and knitters  to be part of a huge piece of unique wall art.
Its all explained in this post on her 50 years of Flower Power blog.
Flowers and freeform - I couldn't wait to get started!
In true stashbusting style I gathered some bright and textured yarns and raided one of the boxes I have stuffed full of oddments.
Oddments is my positive term for all those bits of  crochet that didn't quite make the grade, they may have been prototypes, experiments or the motifs that didn't look just right (in the days 'before freeform'  when this mattered!)....stitch count awry, uneven petals, lumpy bits...we all have them - don't we?!....and I keep them!!
Several were chosen, at random, and the freeforming flower began to blossom!








 A back view....


....secret pocket....intentional of course!!


 ...a  familiar needlefelted middle..


fluffy bits...


 multi-coloured cotton threads....


 shiny threads....


 knobbly spirally bits....


Before photographing, it was perched on Mr RWs reading matter...so I hunted around for a more colourful background...and uncovered a favourite childhood book:


'A Child's Garden of Verses' by Robert Louis Stevenson


with the most vibrant illustrations by the very talented Brian Wildsmith


...first published in 1966....
a welcome chance to reconnect with the wonderful words and incredible illustrations..


...having been surrounded by Brian Wildsmith's  beautiful, colourful, zingy books as a child
 no wonder I love colour and texture...and freeform!


I loved this project - it has fertilised my passion for freeform, colour and illustration.
Thank you to Prudence...
I'm so looking forward to be part of an international piece of art,
and to viewing all the other colourful, creative contributions as they arrive in Australia!
There's still time if you'd like to join me!
Off to pop the petals in the post!!

Wednesday, 4 February 2015

Painting with wool..

....or cotton!

Henri Matisse is known for his vibrant colourful cut-out compositions, drawing or painting with scissors. I was captivated by this exhibition on holiday and have been fascinated ever since.

A friend has a leafy cut out picture full of  rainbow colours similar to these
For her birthday I hooked an experimental  freestyle One Of A Kind cotton coaster, inspired by Matisse leaf patterns.


It really was like painting with cotton!


The idea appeared before the materials - I intended to use cotton from my stash, but out shopping happened upon two fabulous skeins in a charity shop.


 The customary view from behind!


Working in the back of stitches gives a knobbly effect!


There's another exciting freeform project waiting in the wings....I'm enjoying taking and selecting photographs, and LoVeD the creating process!
Looking forward to sharing it soon!

Saturday, 24 January 2015

Green sproutings!

All over the garden the first signs of spring growth are sprouting!
The green shoots reminded me of the freeform vessel made for my mums birthday in November, that escaped the photo stage.
Mum kindly brought it back to have its picture taken!



The spiral is hooked with three very different yarns, a slender multi-coloured wool, a silky cotton, and the wonderfully woolly Wheeldale Woolcrafts variegated green also seen in the Christmas trees.


The varying thicknesses and finishes produce a naturally occurring knobbly wibbly undulating terrain....


...and lacy cobwebby holes!


Hope you are finding plenty of green shoots in the wintry bumpy earth!


Thursday, 8 January 2015

Christmas Cowls

After a few successful cowls last Christmas,
every time a suitable bargain ball of wool was spotted
 it was purchased with a cowl in mind!
Some have been winter birthday presents, and others given for Christmas!
I was given an amazing detailed and inspirational book for my wedding anniversary earlier in the year:
It has fab photos of all sorts of stitch designs, instructions and charts for each one, and suggestions of suitable yarns. 
 It will be a really useful reference as I continue to explore the art of crochet.
Before embarking on my winter cowl-a-thon I made a list of scarf-y stitches from the book,
swatched a few,
and with the intention of using a different stitch for each project,
promptly fell in love with Rope stitch
so most of my makes wound up with that one!
This acrylic is my favourite colourway!
Its from a huge vibrant squidgy ball of Robin Candyfloss
and has so far made two tall neckwarmers in rope stitch.


 Some zingy My Boshi wool and chunky yarns which were generously donated by Tracey came in handy too!


Unfortunately in the winter gloom the colours do not zing on screen as much,
the one below is a mint green!



This cowl with a twist can be worn in three colour ways



These two chunky cowls from gifted yarn were donated to charity:


HTRs in BLO  above
Rope stitch below!


Another twisted navy cowl (HTRs in BLO) was hooked for my nephew to keep him warm on chilly mornings down by the river.
However, it was presented to its new owner without being photographed!

As Sherlock stitch was well received last year,
 and therapeutic to hook, it was used again:


 for a long skinny infinity!



This was a very relaxing background project, for a friend's birthday, when events were getting hectic!


A twisted combination of Candyfloss and Sherlock evaded detection by the camera....

A friend knitted me this delicious, colourful, soft and warm vintage neckwarmer for Christmas...which is being well used!





I have learned that its never too early to start woollies....and maybe friends with summer birthdays are missing out on winter warmers...so chunky hooking may become an August occupation!

Oh, and I kept one cowl to wear...wonder if you can guess which one it is?!