Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Crochet obsession

If there is one thing I love nearly as much as art, it is craft. I like craft because I like the idea of making things. I like craft because I like the DIY ethos. I like craft because it is a humble art form. In fact, I think craft is a form of art. I think the whole art and craft divide is very silly.

One of my favourite things to do is browse through handcraft books and magazines, I find them so inspirational. I have friends who make quilts, toys, clothes, and other thing with their hands, and that is so amazing to me. I think we are living in an age that is very fast paced and technology driven, so the return to the handmade life is something I feel very passionate about.

I have dabbled in sewing, embroidery, cross stitch and so forth, but I have always wanted to learn knitting and crochet. Countless failed attempts later I enrolled in a beginner's crochet class with my friend, and two months later I can say that I am obsessed! In fact, what was meant to be a 'study month' before my Masters program commences in London has really turned into a 'crochet month', as these photos will show.

My first yarns were purchased at Morris and Sons in Sydney, where I attended my crochet class. I love their range of yarns, and I intend to return and get more once my skills have improved.

One of the first projects I made with the wool yarn from Morris and Sons was this crochet bunting. As you can see, it is very very far from perfect, but I definitely learnt a lot along the way. For example, I thought it would make no difference what type of yarn I used, so instead of the recommended 4 ply I used a 8 ply. As you can see, the bunting is not sitting very well as a result. Another mistake I made, which I am so glad I figured out before I started anything else, was that I was crocheting in the wrong loop! Instead of going through both loops I only went through the back loop, which resulted in what looks almost like a 'line' around my work.

The next thing I made which I am very proud of was the white totoro, from a free pattern by Lucy Ravenscar. It was a great toy to make as my first, because I learnt a lot about the basic construction of amigurumi and how to crochet in the round. Next I started the bigger blue one, which I have nearly finished. I just need to make it arms. I love Lucy's totoro crochet patterns, I want to make a whole bunch of them in different colours!

Speaking of colours, once I was beginning to feel a bit more confident in my skills, I decided to upgrade my equipment as well. I have always loved the Clover Amour Crochet set, and my boyfriend gifted me the kit. Thank you Malcolm! I also decided to invest in some stitch markers to make my job counting stitches easier.

I am currently working on many projects at once, as this following photo will demonstrate.

At the top, there are some half finished Blythe hats (from when I was still crocheting incorrectly). I also started a granny square project with the intention of making a Granny square jacket. I also started to experiment with making a basket with some lovely multicoloured yarn. The blue yarn near the bottom is my incomplete totoro parts, and the light grey yarn is a smaller totoro I have started with a 4 ply yarn. I just need smaller sized eyes before I continue. Also on the bottom is a strawberry I made, along with some letters from a pattern by Handy Kitty (I am still learning with that one...). The two pouches are from a pattern modified by me, and I intend to use them to store my toys when I go travelling! The stripey one is one I made just yesterday, and I think my boyfriend wants to keep it.

The next thing I want to make is a Stripey Giraffe. I also decided to get some different yarn today, since I have been working almost exclusively in wool. After doing some reading around the Internet, it seems that acrylic/cotton is a popular choice for making crochet toys so I decided to get some today.

I almost don't want my month off to be over because I am having so much fun learning crochet! I fear that when I become a full time Masters student all of this will have to be put on hold.

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