Friday, 7 February 2014

Plarn Fair Maid of February!

Ever since I read  the fantastically creative Ali's plarn tutorial and knitting pattern on The Creations of Crazy Dazy I knew I would give it a try.
These days I rarely pick up disposable bags as Bags for Life are a usual part of my shopping routine. As the majority of thin plastic bags I do have in my stash are white, a design plan began to take hold(all!)
I even took some bags on holiday in the summer, as they flat-packed into a smaller space than a ball of yarn - but it wasn't the right time of year for the plan!

I spent a while getting the initial elements of the pattern right. I tried with wool, first by eye, and after several unsuccessful attempts resorted to writing it down in a rather unusual format (vertically rather than horizontally!) This worked so well for me I don't know why I hadn't tried this approach before!

Ali's tutorial was so easy to follow and two balls of plarn were made - one pure white and the other white with green patterns..
The plarn worked well on a 6mm hook and progress was fast.

The constituent parts were assembled, and I was fairly pleased with the result...however it wasn't quite after several experiments with various items from our tool box and garage, some out of the box thinking was required...Mr RW came up with an ingenious plan that worked a treat - and I am pleased to reveal.....

 .... a plarn snowdrop..

...or fair maid of February...

 Below is the snowdrop in its initial form  - most of them in our garden look like this at the moment..

However I really wanted the flower to be open, displaying the bell, which happens later in the life cycle.
As wire intertwined through the stitches did not make the petals fan out or lift, Mr RW suggested a wire frame to support the open flower. You can see the frames below (attached to the petals with some white wire..) 

 One of  the white bags used was less thin and had a shiny texture, it was a bit more tricky to hook but gives the petals a shiny sheen in places. It was only used in part of the plarn ball so one of the petals, without the thicker strips, is slightly smaller!

 The stamens are knotted scraps of plarn

 The detailed shots evoke happy thoughts of Greggs, M&S and Poundland!!

 A pipe cleaner is strengthened with wire and wound round a garden cane for a stem.

 I might try some garden shots when the wet and windy weather abates!
It was great working with a new material  - the ball can be added to at any point, even as you go along!
Creating the pattern elements, which can be tweaked to form other projects in the future, was worth the investment of time. 
The blogging community is so much fun and fantastically inspirational - Thanks Ali!


crazydazy said...

what an inventive and creative project. Thanks for giving me a mention in your post.

homeschooljewelrymom said...

Very neat :-)

Melatia said...

Your snowdrop looks fabulous! As a lover of Nature I think this is a great way to get rid of old plastic bags - gotta give it a try! :)

Amy at love made my home said...

What a fun thing to make! The way the petals stand out looks really good and very natural! xx

Jacqui Galloway said...

Oh Ali,
It's lovely to see your experiment turned out so well. Your snowdrop is absolutely fabulous. It's also a great project for reusing plasic bags (of which I have a large stash). i love the name of 'fair maid of February'.You have captured the demureness of her, very well. Great thinking out of the box for the open petals.
Jacqui x

linda said...

it's amazing Ali! I love your snowdrop it looks very elegant :)

September Violets said...

What a great use of those plastic bags! Your snowdrop has worked out wonderfully ... a great combined effort I'd say ;) Wendy x

Starfish Studio said...

What a brilliant use of placky bags!
Having held a 'Learn to Crochet' class in my shop recently, I have a huge admiration for anyone who can do this impossible craft! I'm now looking at the bracelet you sent me in a whole new light!
I have been very neglectful of my blog reading and writing for ages, please give me a prod every so often! Kate x

green glamour said...

great colours fab blog hx

Willow said...

Ali , this is absolute lovey !

Linnhe Mara said...

How lovely! A permanent reminder of Spring.
Your patience and perseverance have paid dividends. Well done Ali, I am in awe

L x

Astri Bowlin said...

Very clever. The wire was a great idea!