Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Scrumble #40

Sometimes it just happens that freeform knitting and crocheting has a mind of its own. No matter what you try to do, some scrumbles seem to be intent on becoming something you were not expecting.

About half way through creating this particular mauve and purple piece I turned it around to add something to another side, and suddenly discovered that it was morphing into...

...a bear in a hat!

The crocheted lurex ruffle had become more like an eye than a flower, the knitted cable was now looking very snout-like, and the bullion clusters seemed to have positioned themselves just where ears and a nose should be.

Since that definitely hadn't been my intention, I started to think about the best way to detract from the impression I was getting...but each time I looked at the scrumble from a certain angle that blasted bear was still there, winking at me.

So don't laugh! In the end I just gave up and went along with it, adding a bobble for an eyeball, a crochet edging around the 'collar', and some purple bouclé ribbons streaming from the back of her hat.

Hope you like her ;-)


Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Scrumble #39

Scrumble #39 actually started with a couple of small crochet doodlings that were made quite a while ago, but were only recently rediscovered amongst my stash - these were the little yellow area of Tunisian crochet near the centre of the scrumble, and the oval shape with spiral embellishment that is underneath it, near the bottom.

When I decided to use the yellow cotton Tunisian section in this scrumble, I knew that it would be too light a colour. Not wanting it to be too much of a contrast, I immediately wove a length of olive green ribbon yarn under the bars, so that it would blend better with all of the other autumn-tones yarns I was selecting for this piece.

I added a couple of knitted sections to both of these 'starter' pieces before sewing them together; then, once they were joined, I continued outwards in all directions, using tiny scraps of yarn to create other random motifs. Most of these small sections were finished off just because I was about to run out of that particular yarn.

The 2 green leaves and both of the flowers, plus the wool bullion circle (top left) and the round linen piece (top right, partly hidden under the bent bullion flower), were done last; these were all made separately before being attached (some with crochet slip stitches, the others sewn).

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

scrumble #38 - finally

I'm finally back to blogging my scrumbles again...and I definitely do intend to keep it up on a fairly regular basis for a while, at least over the next couple of months, until I reach #52 (a year's worth, even though it will have taken me more like 2 years to complete them all)

I really love creating small freeform pieces, so this one contains 2 small hearts, one knitted and the other crocheted from the same dark lilac twinkly man-made yarn. They were created separately, and both were surrounded by a row of crochet using a very soft and slinky recycled sari yarn - then they waited patiently for the rest of the scrumble to evolve.

The main, central part of the scrumble was made as one piece, with random sections added onto the initial red knitted area... then the hearts were joined on using crochet (slip stitches worked from the back to join the top one, but 4 short sections of chain stitch for the lower, pendant one)

Along with the twinkly stuff, some of the other yarns used include wool (a lovely chunky single), cotton (various mercerized), silk (a soft but still 'crunchy' handspun mulberry silk from India) and acrylic (an ancient find in my stash - must be over 20 years old)

Reds and oranges always seem to be really difficult to photograph well, but the detail should show up a bit better once you click on the thumbnail.

(...and I'm already working on #39, so it shouldn't be too long before I post here again)

Friday, April 30, 2010

scrumble #37

OK, I finally got around to doing my next scrumble for the blog. Sorry it took so long!

This one used just 3 yarns, and is all in crochet.

The central circle was created first, one round of treble stitches (US dc), surrounded with twice as many again in the 2nd round. Two different colour-ways of the same glittery thread were used for this, and all the other 'round-ish' motifs.

Each of the other oval or circular shapes had to be made separately (since they started in the centre), but when the second one was made I joined it to the first, and then later joined the others to each other, just using crochet chain stitches that were worked in a lime green wool yarn.

I then surrounded the piece with more lime green chains, added a round of slip stitches into those chains using the copper thread, to begin to create a 'frame', and then added another round of slip stitches into the previous round, this time using the black thread.

I will try to get the next scrumble done soon ;- )

Sunday, April 4, 2010

scrumble #36

the knit stitch...

...and nothing but the knit stitch!

what more can i say?

Sunday, March 21, 2010

scrumble # 35

here is my next freeform piece - the red leaf shape was knitted first, using garter stitch, then chains were crocheted through the knitting to create the 'veins'.

a few glass beads were stitched on (just because
i happened to run across them shortly after i had finished knitting the leaf and they matched). Then a piece of very old, hand-knotted Japanese fishing net was placed over the entire leaf.

i have added a close-up showing the net. i bought it once at a textile conference, ages ago - just because it looked interesting - but i hadn't found a use for it until now.

to hold the net in place i added lots of little areas of freeform crochet to the edges of the leaf; they were worked over the fishnet at the same time as working into the knitting, to attach it securely.

this piece measures approximately 36cm (14") in length x 18cm (7") at the widest part.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

scrumble #34

This week's scrumble is possibly not quite as unusual as the last couple, but it was fun to make all the same.

This piece started with the section on the right hand side...a number of different areas of knitted mesh, with various crochet stitches interspersed between the knit sections.

I then made the crochet black and white circle, and attached it to the edge of the developing scrumble using a few crochet slip stitches from the wrong side of the work before the black and white yarn was cut. A few more crochet areas were then added around the edges.

As usual, the yarns varied in thickness quite a bit. This piece includes 3 different boucle mohair yarns in various weights, a couple of regular mohairs, a hand-dyed wool single-ply yarn, a beaded cotton blend and a multi-coloured synthetic.

Monday, February 15, 2010

scrumble #33

A Valentine's Heart!

I didn't really start off with that in mind.

The initial circles bore no resemblance to a heart shape as they were joined; but when I added some random crochet lacy stitches around the edge of the circles it suddenly wanted to become that shape, so I built it up with the novelty yarn around the outside.

this one measures 25cm wide x 20cm deep

Friday, February 5, 2010

scrumble #32

here is my next scrumble - again a little different to any of the others so far.

the 3 pink and mauve flowers at the front started with the knit section that made up the stems - reverse stocking stitch, worked in short rows and 'pleated' to make tubular sections by working a row of stitches every so often through both the stitch on the needle and at the same time through a loop at the back of the work a few rows back.

i then crocheted around the wide ends of these tubes to form the pink flower heads, and added other crochet circles and ruffles around the other 2 sides of the triangular shape to complete the design.

mostly worked in synthetic sparkly yarns, this organic little piece would make a great freeform addition to a plain handbag, or would stand alone as a brooch or hair ornament.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Week #31

here is my latest blog scrumble. am visiting NYC at the moment, and heading out shortly for a class...so no time to write about it at present. if you have any questions about how this one is made feel free to ask, and i will get back to reply in a day or two.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

scrumble # 30

This week's scrumble started with the crochet spiral flower in the centre.

Similar to those described in my 'never too many Handbags' book, it has a single colour base, then surface stitches are worked into the back loops of the stitches in the previous round of the spiral.

Once it was the desired size, I worked rows of slip stitches for surface embellishment.

The first round was worked into the 'free' front loops of the base stitches, then another round of slip stiches was worked into these slip stitches, and then another into those. Ruffles were formed by increasing as these embellishments were made.

I then picked up stitches and knitted various small areas outwards from behind the spiral.

Other crochet stitches were added between the knitted areas, and onto their edges.

Yarns used included wool, mohair, silk, various synthetics and a wool and linen mix.

Friday, January 15, 2010

week 29

Gosh, I just realized that the 2nd week of January has flown by already...

...so much for the new year's resolution to try to keep this blog on track! Will have to aim to do better next week; but anyway, here is my next completed scrumble, and this time it is a combination of both crochet and knitting.

Lots of bullion circles, crocheted in a commercial cotton and a hand-dyed wool that was a gift from someone who has taken a number of workshops with me over the years (many thanks, Sheryl). Both of these yarns had just the right twist to work wonderfully for this tricky stitch, and so they easily produced lots of nice, neat rolls (using the best yarn for the job isn't really cheating!!). I also added 3 other circle motifs made with block stitches.

The other yarns are all very fine in weight; the green cotton used in the small knitted areas contains what looks like its very own bullions - little slubs of cotton in other bright colours that came twisted into the yarn at random intervals...this yarn came on a cone and has been in my stash for at least 15 years!

I finished this scrumble off with lots of small ruffles, crocheted with various paper yarns and silk embroidery threads.

Friday, January 8, 2010

I'm back...with Week 28

Yes, I'm actually back!
and I'm going to do my best to find time to create and blog about another scrumble each week

...for a while, that is...hopefully at least for the first few months of 2010!

so here is week 28, the first for the new year

This is a scrumble that is 100% knitting - not a crochet stitch in sight!
I have used a variety of different knit stitches including garter, rib, moss, double moss, slip and reverse stocking stitch.

This scrumble was started with the small garter stitch rectangle near the top, the piece that is worked in the white cotton yarn with beads. From then on, each new area of knitting was picked up along the edge of a previously made section. Some of the sections were bent over and caught at the back of the work when the cast-off row was worked, forming small bumps and pleats and creating a more textural effect.

I added the white mohair border using a continuous strand of yarn, by picking up stitches along the side of each peak with the right side facing, working a single row of knit stitches, and then casting off on the following row. When I was back to only 1 stitch on the needle again, I picked up more stitches down the other side of the peak, or up the side of the next section, until the border completely surrounded the piece.

The finished scrumble measures approximately 23cm (9") wide, by 19cm (7-1/2") deep