Spring?

Maybe I’m just a cock eyed optimist* but I definitely think that there’s a hint of spring in the air. The trees in the valley are wreathed in subtle tendrils of fresh green, the sun is producing a teensy bit more warmth than it has (and it’s not hidden behind the million tog duvet of dirty clouds). This weekend past we even sat outside for a while: granted it was on our south-facing, very sheltered deck and I had to wrap up in a cardigan and a shawl. But it was outside AND it was sunny.

However “cast not a clout till May is out”** still holds true – it’s not time to give up knitting yet with a couple of chilly months ahead. And this being the UK there’s a good chance that you’re going to need a cardi or sweater for the foreseeable! But I think we can safely ditch the super-chunky projects and start to choose from pastel shades, even if we don’t go full “beach sarong and bikini” just yet!

I’m loving West Yorkshire Spinners ice-cream colours in their delicious BFL Double knitting, but a classic raglan cardi in Sirdar’s ever reliable Country Style DK would be a great addition to a pretty tunic top or frock – choose a pastel or perhaps opt for white.

But don’t you think that sea, marine and beach colours work really well in Spring and Summer too? Maybe it’s thinking about the seaside and that first dip in the holiday pool? Take a look at these lovelies from the Legacy range by James C Brett.

Here in Village Wool Shop HQ, we’re definitely getting geared up for pastels and spring – particularly the crochet department (what, another blanket?) but now I’m down to a mere 3 WIP***  it’s definitely time to get started on spring projects.

 

PS – the flower blankie is all done and dusted – and ready for the window….

 

*Mizzi Gaynor had such a tiny waist…and that colour-y thing in ‘South Pacific’. Nope.

**Some people argue that the “May’ referred to is the May blossom on the hawthorne bushes not the month itself.

*** Okay so it’s more like 4, possibly 5, but certainly single figures.

Hooked…

 

 

Granny square how to - 1 of 13

So obviously from being a “crochet, no thanks” kinda person, I am now totally ‘hooked’ (that never gets old does it?). And to prove it, I have invented a ‘granny square’ (possibly, I mean I haven’t looked through all of them yet, but I haven’t  seen one that looks like mine).

And in another first, here’s my inaugural photo-tutorial: I did the original square  in tasteful shades borrowed from my floral blanket. Sadly, the yarn I choose for the photos are in a rather less than restful shade of raspberry. In my defence, it didn’t look that bright when I took the photos.

Also, while we’re getting our excuses in, I may crochet, but I don’t write patterns (or, it could be argued, understand them), so apologies in advance for goofs and clumsy explanations. The photos should help clarify

  1. Make a magic loop/circle and make 7 double crochets (dc) into it before closing with a slip stitch. (This is a good video to show you how to make a magic loop – there are loads more – choose your favourite method)

Granny square how to - 2 of 13

3. Make 3 chains (ch) and then 1 treble (tr) into the bottom of this chain.

Granny square how to - 3 of 13

3. Into each subsequent dc, make 2 tr and 1 ch through both loops of the stitch. Join last ch to the 3rd ch of the first 3 ch start.

Granny square how to - 4 of 13Granny square how to - 5 of 13

4. Into each space (there should be eight) make 1 half tr (htr), 1 tr, 1 double tr (dtr), 1 tr, and finally 1  htr. Then make a dc into the chain at the top of the tr’s in the previous row. After the last dc, slip stitch to close the circle.

Granny square how to - 6 of 13Granny square how to - 7 of 13

 

5. Make 6 ch, *then make a dc into the centre dtr of previous round, make 3 ch then make 1 dc into the next dtr of previous round. Then make 3 ch and make a dtr into the next dc between the next 2 petals, then 3 chains* – repeat from * to * to the 6 ch start. ch 1 and do a tr into the 3 ch.

6. Make 3 ch then work 2 tr into the space before the first petal. *4 tr into next space, then 3tr into next space, then 3 ch and 3 tr into space after previous rounds dtr.* Repeat from * to * to end. When you get to the last space, ch 2 and slip stitch to close the square.

 

I then did a row of double crochet into the top of each treble and 4 stitches into each chain space – just for the sake of neatness really, but it would help to stabilise them if you were making them into a blanket or cushion covers.

Granny square how to - 13 of 13

If this is all as clear as mud – the photos should help: if that doesn’t do the trick – email me at villagewoolly@gmail.com for help. If you’ve got any other thoughts, get in touch – it’s always good to get a bit of feedback!

Btw – if there’s anyone out there smart enough to draw a crochet chart for this, please get in touch.

…are we there yet?

My blankie project is getting tantalisingly close to the finishing line: all I have to do is crochet the squares together and add a border. Put like that it sounds super easy doesn’t it?

There is, however, the small matter of sewing in the ends. Sigh. I was a good little crafter and I sewed in more or less all the ends as I went along, just leaving the last thread of each square. However that still means that there are at least 98 ends to sew in, and because I’m connecting each one together with a row of slip stitches, that means another 2 per square (one at the beginning and one at the end). Just in case you were wondering that is nearly 300 hundred tiny bits of yarn to sew in and clip. At least. Which, friends, is a lot of ends.

Now some people have a very ‘zen’ approach to this kind of thing: it’s part of the enjoyable journey to a finished project and each little end is appreciated as much as the first stitch. I am not one of those people. Once I’ve cast off that last piece, or finished that last slip stitch. I stop being a ‘process knitter/crocheter’ and I want my finished product.

Oh, I can do all the pressing, blocking, pinning, sewing, tidying up ends and all of that malarkey, and I know that it makes all the difference to the finished garment/accessory/other. I know this in my head…. but my heart wants what it wants, and what it wants is to be finished. Right. This. Moment. NOW.

What do you think? Is it just me?