Monday, 29 June 2009

Frustration poll

A week ago I asked you what you do in case you can't finish a project and so it turns out that your best advice is to take a break (58%). Lisa T wrote that taking some distance and clearing her head for a while gives her a chance to start anew.

16% of respondents persist in their task to get the project finish and move on and I have to say that this is also my way of doing things. Equally 16% starts 10 other projects meanwhile to unload the frustration - and again a tempting idea.

And finally 1 person, when frustrated, tears his/her project apart and (hopefully) starts from the beginning.

I guess the conclusion is, better to take a moment off than to tear your stuff apart!

Saturday, 27 June 2009

Getting your circles flat

I am not much of an engineer when it comes to my crocheting so it took me a while of trial-and-error before I learned how to get my circles flat. And until very recently it was still a "let's see, does this need an increase?" process. However, I have recently found this magic formula of circle-building and it works very well, so I thought I might share it with you:

1. Single crochet circle - 6 increases per round
2. Half-double crochet circle - 8 increases per round
3. Double crochet circle - 12 increases per round

It is of course also important to space your increases evenly (for example every 2nd, 3rd or 4th stitch) to make sure that the circle stays round and does not "grow a bump" on one side - unless that's the idea!

Tuesday, 23 June 2009

New items in my etsy shop

After a bit of a break I had a chance to work on two more projects. I can now safely say that I mastered the serviettes design. The results are to be seen (and purchased) on my etsy shop!

Sunday, 21 June 2009

Getting the job done

I've been working on this particular project for the past 3 weeks and I can't seem to finish it. It is partly due to large number of other tasks and partly due to the fact that I'm experimenting on the pattern. I use different thread than suggested and introduce some variation into the original design. This costs me some unraveling, retracing my steps and than trying again. But it is sooo frustrating! I would like to move on to another project but now I fixate on this one and can't get past it.

I was wondering if you guys could tell me what you do when you cannot finish a project. Do you persist? Do you drop it for a while? Do you start something else and go back to the unfortunate project later? Or do you just tear it apart? Fill in the poll and let me know.

Monday, 15 June 2009

Book review : 100 flowers to knit and crochet

I have recently bought a new pattern book by Lesley Stanfield 100 flowers to knit and crochet and I must say that it is brilliant. It starts out by some basic intro to both knitting and crocheting - very useful for those of us who can't do much more than a scarf with two needles - and goes on to clear and large pictures to all the 100 flowers the title promises. The pattern section is divided into 3 levels of difficulty for each technique and contains clear and comprehensive instructions as well as schematic patterns.

The only weak point of the book is its project section. It includes only 4 ideas that are not very imaginative. But hey, that's where our creativity comes in, right?!

I have tried 3 patterns from the book so far and I they all have been a success! So ladies, it's only £7 on amazon, don't let it wait!

Oh, and I have ordered 201 Crochet Motifs, Blocks, Patterns and Ideas and Beyond the Square Crochet Motifs today so stay tuned for more reviews.

Thursday, 11 June 2009

The joys of your own projects

I don't know how about you guys but I can only get that much out of following charts and patterns. Sure, it is cool to produce a nifty scarf or a well fitting pair of knitted gloves but there is nothing like the satisfaction of a haphazardly formed hat.

My true creative spirit only comes out when I rummage through my supply corner and put together various materials to try and crochet the idea I had in my mind for a while. This of course ends up in a disaster 2 times out of 3 but every so often I am left with a great design that no one has tried before me.

It is all to say that even though you should learn the craft from books and articles and follow some chartered roads to learn the basics, you will get so much more joy from discovering the blanc spots on the maps.

Friday, 5 June 2009

Battle won

I spent the morning fighting Adobe Photoshop but it was worth my while. I figured out the nuts and bolts of the software and created my first etsy shop banner.
I used my signature project and the slogan I want to promote. Let me know if you have any comments.

Thursday, 4 June 2009

Colors matter

Every crafter has their own way of starting new projects. I begin by choosing colors. Sometimes even before I have a pattern or design I see a beautiful shade of yarn or a pretty pastel pencil and I simply have to use it. It of course leads to stashes of pretty yarn laying around my apartment and waiting for a divine inspiration to visit me. One way or another, composing colors is a major part of preparing projects.

Color Theory in a Nutshell

According to color theory there are 3 primary colors that cannot be created by mixture of other colors: red, blue and yellow.

Secondary and tertiary colors are created by mixing the three colors above in different amounts. For instance green is a mixture of yellow and blue and orange happens when we spill some yellow ink over red.

When choosing colors for a project you have 3 options: one color, harmonic composition or contrasting colors. Here are some ideas of how to do this and what to pay attention to.

1.Single color projects – consider who the project is for (a baby, a guy, a pink-loving friend) and where will it be placed (in a dark room, outside in a green garden or on a white wall)

2.Harmonic composition – to achieve harmony means to create something visually pleasant. To choose harmonious colors you can use analogous colors – that are next to each other on the 12 parts wheel of colors (ex: light blue, green and light green). There are usually 3 of them and one of them predominates. You can also get inspiration from nature. If human eye is used to it because of something that already exist, it will be pleasant (ex: brown and green)

3.Contrasting colors – to pick contrasting colors or complementary colors choose opposing colors on the wheel (ex: red and green, yellow and blue).

Having said that, I like to experiment with colors (and supplies) and see what comes up. The point with crafting after all is that you enjoy what you do!

Tuesday, 2 June 2009

Excited about my projects

I have just created my very own etsy shop. It is so exciting and a little bit scary to finally see my projects online. I will be updating the shop regularly with new items so keep checking it out.

I also spent some time today preparing business cards (or more like business slips) that I will add to my projects that I send to buyers.

It is a great feeling to see my project develop!

Monday, 1 June 2009

Simple project: ipod sock

One of my first crochet projects was an ipod sock for my boyfriend. It's a great way to start your adventure with crocheting because it's so simple and yet effective.

How to crochet an ipod sock?
It really depends on you what kind of yarn you want to use. My personal favorite is Pure Wool DK from Rowan but you can use anything really. Just make sure it is not too bulky cause you'll end up with a monster of a sock.

All you need to do is to follow these 4 simple steps:
1. Make a chain and once it's long enough to encircle your ipod bind the two ends together by a slip stitch.
2. Keep crocheting around with single crochet, sticking the hook in the outer part of the chain loops. Once it's deep enough for your ipod, fasten off.
3. Using yarn needle saw the bottom together.
4. Turn the sock to the right side.