Friday, September 23, 2011

Creative Juices

I wonder what it is that gets those creative juices flowing? I don't know if it's the change of season or what, but my mind is just full of ideas of what to make. So many that I'm afraid I'll forget some of them! My kids have commented that I often stand in the middle of a room and sort of space out,  occasionally making senseless comments , so I have started writing them down .Either creativity has struck, or I am losing a few marbles!

I think this is a common thing among creative people of any kind. Look at writers, they get on a roll and can finish a whole book! Other times thy get writers block and can't work at all!  The same goes for artists. I have a relative who reproduces Leonardo Da Vinci's machines. He has made several of them, all meticulously produced in wood, stone and linen. I will be helping him with an exposition next week and so he was explaining some of Da Vinci's work to me.  Now, I certainly would never compare myself to such a genius, but just think of all the things he did, how his mind worked and all the sketches he drew of his inventions, many of which we still use today. Yet he never built them, most were only on paper. I should think because his mind had already moved on to his next masterpiece. What an incredible rush of creativity!

With all these things in my mind that I wish to create, my only problem is not having enough time! I have three WIP's right now and many to do's on the list, I have a feeling the next post will be filled with pictures!! Stay tuned..........

Monday, September 12, 2011

Happy International Crochet Day !!

Just a message to wish everyone a Happy International Crochet Day!! Get out your hooks and do it in public!! Keep your eyes open, I'll be posting soon!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Tubular Flounce Cowl or Boa Scarf tutorial

Well, here it goes! Wish me luck on my first photo tutorial! I made another cowl with flounce and decided to try a tubular version with this lovely, wool bordered, flounce. It was originally supposed to be a Boa scarf, but, after 2 skeins, I decided to make a cowl instead. This is because since I paid €4 a skein, it was getting a bit expensive and when I sell it, I certainly wouldn't be able to raise the price to cover the cost, unless my work was free! I think it came out well as a cowl, too.

A note before starting: This is easy, but time consuming. If you've never used flounce before, it takes awhile to get used to, so if your looking for a quick project, this probably isn't it. Crochet loosely, flounce is not friendly to tight stitches. Also, be sure to mark the first stitch in each round. I use a paper clip (thank you futuregirl) it's easy to close too! After each round, count your stitches, It's easy to add in extras but if you check each round before starting a new one, you can rip a small amount.

This pattern was designed by me so please do not sell any part of it, or take credit for the pattern and photos. You may share this pattern with others free of charge. As for the items you make using it, you may sell them, but please refer people to my blog if they ask about it.

Now to work!

You'll need:  a K hook(6.5 mm), stitch marker,tapestry needle, 55 yards (50 meters) of flounce for the cowl  or 110 yards (100 meters) for a scarf, patience(lol)

All terms in this pattern are American, for British, please adapt. This is worked in dc, but tr crochet works up nicely too. If you choose tr remember to ch 4.

Since you can't make a regular starting knot, here's what you do ; open your flounce and, leaving about an inch tail (2cm), insert your hook inot the middle of the flounce net, then, using about1/3 of the flounce(stick your hook through),yarn over and pull through. this is considered your knot. Do not count as a stitch.

Now, doing the same thing, ch 9. Please open your flounce as you go, it makes it easier to work with. Then join in a circle with the 9th stitch from hook (the first you made),  ch 3 (or 4 for treble)
Now, dc around until you get to the ch3.dc into the 3rd ch of ch3 and place your stitch marker here (this is your first stitch of the secound round). This is not something you can normally do in crochet, because you would see the gap, and it would look messy, but with flounce you can,because it's covered by the ruffles. If you would like to be more precise, you could sl st at the end of the round,ch 3(or 4) and continue on.

Continue working in spirals until desired length is reached.
If you're making the cowl, make it just a little roomy around the neck.

It looks something like this as you're going along.
 Now for fastening off. When you've completed the last stitch of the round, put your hook through the first, and YO with ALL of the flounce. Now sl st.

Now YO again with ALL the flounce and pull through, making a knot. Weave in end. I also threaded a tapestry needle and went down a row and knotted around two stitches for safety,then cut closely. The great thing is you can't see the knots because they're hidden by the ruffles! Sew in and knot tail at other end.

If you're making the cowl, you will need to make a chain using all the flounce, about one and a half times your cowl. On the last chain,take out your hook and insert a tunisian hook, or the longest hook you have into the middle of the cowl,squish it down as far as possible onto the hook, insert the hook into the last chain you made, pull yarn tight around hook and CAREFULLY pull hook and chain through the cowl. It may take a couple of tries to get it through. (Don't forget to leave out a peace at the other end!) Knot off both ends of string and cut!

That's it! Now you'll be warm and beautiful!

I hope you enjoy the pattern, if you have any questions or problems, feel free to contact me by leaving a comment or on ravelry.