Saturday, 27 September 2008

Wool Addict

I have a problem, I can admit it so I'm half way to solving it. The only problem is I'm not completely sure I want to solve my addiction.

I am addicted to buying wool, I love getting new colours and textures. The addiction is compounded by the fact that every lunch time I have to pass a wool shop, outside the owner puts baskets of yarn to tempt me, in a variety of colours all 50p a ball.

Fifty pence! For a ball of yarn, mostly acrylic but always pretty pretty colours. As a result I have many many single balls of wool and very little to do with them. I did but a book on Amazon amusingly titled 'Two Balls or Less' which I always want to draw a question mark at the end of when I see it. The problem with the book is it's very specific on the type of yarn required and my addiction is more of a magpie style impulse rather than having any long term plan as to what the wool could be used for.

As a result I keep experimenting like crazy. One of my experiments which has turned out rather popular are these crocheted hats (with or without ear flaps).
I make them up as I go along but you could easily create your own by finding a double crochet hat pattern and just changing the yarn every couple of lines. That is literally all I do. For ear flaps put the hat on your head and shove crochet needles through where you think the ear flap should start and end. Attach your yarn and crochet backwards and forwards decreasing at each end of every row so you have a big triangle shaped ear flap. I usually end with 8 dc thickness of flap. I then use about 4 lengths of 4 colours I've used in the hats, thread them through the 8dc at the bottom of the ear flap.
Then all you do is plait these threads together in a big chunky plait until they're as long as you fancy.

These hats are great stash-busters and will also keep your head nice and warm in the cold winter months!

Saturday, 20 September 2008

Plastic Bag Bag

Seeing as though we're all going to die horribly thanks to the impending rise of the sea levels courtesy of global warming I thought I'd do my bit. I'd heard about recycling plastic bags into yarn and thought it might be an interesting way to make something.

I found these handy instructions quite a while ago and merrily collected bags. Chopping and joining I eventually had enough bags to make this:

I personally love the irony of taking 40 perfectly functioning carrier bags and turning them into one perfectly functioning bag. Somehow I think it's the opposite of what a capitalist society says you are meant to achieve. This bag is made from Morrisons carrier bags, it's probably about 12 inches square when laid flat. I crocheted it using treble crochet and in the typical fashion I followed no pattern making it up as I went along. Sadly I didn't write the pattern down.

You may be thinking of doing something like this so let me give you some advice.

1. Choose the crappiest quality bags you can get your hands on, ones that will stretch if you pull on the plastic with small force. I tried to use thick carrier bags on another bag I made and paid the price, for three days I could barely move my fingers.

2.You need an awful lot of bags to make one bag (there's a sentence that doesn't make sense in isolation!) if you ask people for plastic bags they will give you them. Lots of them. And they will keep giving you them until you scream "PLEASE NO MORE!!" My car boot is currently full of plastic bags that I have no room for in my house, they need to be chopped up joined and rolled up before I can even begin to use them.

3. I would like to refer back to the last sentence of number 2 "they need to be chopped up joined and rolled up before I can even begin to use them" recycling bags is an arduous task. It takes an age before you can begin to start using your plastic bag yarn. If you really want to do it then have a go, but it will help to have a small army of people willing to chop up, join and roll.

Plastic bag yarn is fun, it makes an interest talking point and it's very 'in fashion' what with all the talk of recycling. Another design I used is fun as well as practical, you can use this to play a Guess The Shop game which can provide up to 12 minutes of clean wholesome family fun.

Thursday, 18 September 2008


All my friends seem to be having babies at the minute which has got me in the mood for knitting booties. These are a recent creation, I adapted a free pattern (Im not sure which one) but it was probably one of these but I can't remember which. I changed the size and used totally different sized needles to the ones recommended then added the ears and face to turn them from run of the mill booties to cute little bunny ones - aaaaaawww!

My knitting technique is largely experinmental. No tutting but I honestly have never knit a gauge square in my life! I go by guess work and I often grab the nearest needles I can find rather than searching through my hundreds of needles to find the right pair.

To make these I actually used double pointed needles which I hate! I'm not sure how people knit socks - I find double pointed needles unnecessarily fiddley! I'm also not a fan of circular needles!

These booties used no more than a ping-pong ball-size of wool. They are very cute. The only problem is they're so cute I don't actually want to give them to any of my friends, I just want to look at them and go "aaaaawww!"

Thursday, 11 September 2008

Adventures in Crochet

I've knitted for a long time but only recently got my head around the art of crochet. Here is one of my first designs, a phone cosy to keep my phone warn on those cold winter days!

I like the sunburst type stitch which is easier than it looks. I've attached a bead at the top and crocheted a loop to make a button style fastener.