The PEACHY PETALS BLANKET

The PEACHY PETALS a new blanket…

After some silence I got a new blanket for you!

The time in lock down has given me the opportunity to reflect on what ‘s really important to me and it has been a time to re-evaluate priorities and to think about resetting goals for the future.

This doesn’t apply just to crochet but also to my life in general.

Crochet has played, without exaggeration, a vital role in these past few months, it has entertained me, distracted and brought some well needed focus.

I crocheted a lot, I made several samples, but mainly I focused on two new blankets.

One is a collaboration project with my friend Tinna Porudottir Porvaldar ( but I will write about all of that in my next entry…)  and the other is PEACHY PETALS !!

Over these past months I have been looking into my work and what I like about designing.

And I think I am a bit of an ‘odd ball’ ( no surprise in that…)

I don’t know how other designers work but for me every blanket is a long journey, it takes a lot of energy and time to come up with a concept or something that I think is new or interesting… so you will wonder why do I do it?

Because I love it! I love the excitement of starting something new, I like making samples,  choosing and tweaking the motif ,and at the same time my favourite part… picking the colours and fibres.

So the Peachy Petals is the result of all the above and several months of work.

Let’s start from the name.. why Peachy Petals….

‘Petal’ in Scotland is an old fashioned term of endearment, I heard Glen, my daughter Olympia’s boyfriend, calling her petal once, on a car journey, and the combination of the Scottish brogue plus the actual word made me smile ( don’t ask me why, it just did! ) , she is a bit of a petal after all!

And peach is her favourite colour… so there we go, a blanket came in my mind to emulate who Olympia is .. a lovely soft sweet girl that always smiles.

I wanted warm, light suffuse hues to emulate her character hence why the Peachy Petal is very different from my much bolder style!

So could I create something that is not so familiar to me? The answer is yes, as I do love a challenge.

Then came the practicality..how can I create something with tonal and subtle hues that is pleasing and interesting  without using a ridiculous amount of different yarns and costing a fortune?

The secret is mixing…

I started with a colour “Blooming Dahlia” or Pantone 15-1520

then I made a mood board of basic tonal palette inspired by interiors .It came apparent that the most important thing  to create a well balanced project while using several variations of the same colour.

The aim of this blanket was to use natural fibres and to create an array of tonal suffuse pale hues without using a lot of different colours and making the blanket prohibitively expensive!

I am very aware of the cost impact on my projects and I strive to offer projects that are beautiful but cost effective .

I think the combination of a mercerised cotton like Muskat and the Mohair silk yarn is a fabulous way to achieve the above.

The Mohair works beautifully in combination with the silkiness of the mercerised cotton and create not only subdued variations in colour but also gives a beautiful soft halo to the blanket. and… they work perfectly together, no knots, no tangles.

I have also added to the pattern  a bonus version of the blanket ,made by one of my testers , Susan Cox.

 

Susan sent me this lovely picture of her blanket that she called  ‘SPRING PETALS’ .

She  made her blanket in 100% cotton too but without Mohair. and she also crocheted a lovely cushion made with a combination of cotton and mohair.Am I not a lucky girl to have such lovely ladies helping me?

My testers Janet and Julie tested the motif and Maggie  draw a chart of the motif that I added to the pattern.

The pattern has also all the details on how to use the different yarns and the placements for each of the 96 motifs in the blanket, plus all the stats for Susan’s version.  I think it is a lovely variation to the pattern and I hope it will give you the confidence to use this versatile pattern with the colours of your choice.

You can download the  pattern  either from here  or from Raverly

Peachy Petals Blanket- Digital Download

 

So THANK YOU Susan for sharing your project, and Maggie Bullock for the motif’s chart.

LasT but not least you can get all the yarn for the blanket from the Woolwarehouse just press the icon , they have just started to send yarn internationally again after teh lockdown and  the MUSKAT is on sale at 40% less until the end of JULY !!!!

Woolwearhouse MUSKAT LINK

Wool Warehouse

So I hope you will give my new blanket a go !

Happy crocheting,

Lucia

 

BLOGTOUR TIME !!! the “Spanish moss scarf”

Gosh! my first blog tour…..!!!

What can I say? it is very exciting and a bit scary too. It feels quite daunting to have to add my small contribution to this amazing array of fabulous projects made by my friends and fellow blogstars. Yesterday was the turn of  https://annabooshouse.blogspot.co.uk/  : Sarah made the most amazing knitted shawl I thought was beautiful, I used to knit all the time, then crochet took over, but that shawl is really tempting!…

Anyway back to today project, I gave it a go  and I hope you will like my scarf it is called “Spanish Moss”.

I got one of my daughters, Valentina,  to model it ,so you can see it on an actual person and not on the floor or a table.

 

 

 

As you know, back in July, at the Blogstars meeting, we all got the opportunity to pick one of the packs of BATIK and BATIK ELEMENTS  to make something with.

The packs are 500 grams and contain 10 balls of Batik :

 

 

the main colour is   Krypton, then there is  Indigo, Sage, Storm, Silver, Teal and  Lupin

 

The colours are fabulous, it is a great yarn to work with, one of my overall favourites, I have to say, in fact, as you know, I have used Batik a lot in the past months, not only alone but in combination also with other yarns like Cotton Classique and Special DK.

So do you want to know how the scarf came about?

 

As I like to share with you the creative process I also have to say that has not been the smoothest of all experiences.

Nothing to do with the yarn which I LOVE  but all to do with ME!!

I do panic when I get told that I have a limited amount of yarn to use and  also  when I get told what colours to use…500 grams in the big scheme of  blankets production is a minuscule quantity , I use at least the double, sometimes even 3 times the quantity so after few failed attempts to conjure a blanket  of some sort I had to give up and make something else..so..here as a testimony how creating a pattern out of the blue is not that simple (for me  at least )… a small selection of loads of  debris…!!

Back to inspirations…during the summer I went to visit a couple of places that are very dear to me, one is the Bomarzo’s Gardens, near Viterbo in central Italy.

 

 

A strange and fascinating  garden build by Pier Francesco Orsini in the 16th century, full of bizarre and fascinating sculptures , statues covered in moss , strange crooked buildings and a huge monster  mouth (known as “the mouth of hell”), inside which, on the tongue, stands a picnic table where you can  have lunch.

Why do I like it?

I don’t know ,probably because it is something halfway between a dream and a nightmare… I always loved places that are unsettling like the steps of the Franciscan Monastery of La Verna, in Tuscany or

 

or indeed something that you might be more familiar with:  the beautiful Lost Gardens of Heligan in Cornwall.

 

 

On the unsettling theme, one of the places that I haven’t visited but do fascinate me are the Swamps of the Southern States of America like Great Dismal.

Somehow the changing colours of the Batik Krypton reminded me of the variegated colour of the moss, the one I am familiar with, in Bomarzo, La Verna and Heligan and the so called “Spanish moss” that I have just seen in documentaries hanging down from some ancient cypress trees in the Lousiana’s bayou.

I have seen some speciments of Spanish Moss “live” in Botanical gardens too:

the picture of the Spanish moss is from the Botanical Gardens in Edinburgh.

 

So there is how the Spanish moss is scarf came about…

I wrote the pattern for you to try if you like.

The scarf has a main body made of ‘trellis’ using Krypton,

then some 3D  strange flowers, which I made using some of the other colours available in the pack, plus some “dangling bits”  my attempt to imitate the Spanish moss.

 

I used most of the Krypton available in the pack and a bit of the other colours. I was tempted to make flowers all around the edge of the scarf but I estimated that I  wouldn’t be able to manage to do so with the quantities in the pack so instead than having a few sparse lonely flowers hanging about on the longer sides edge I opted for 8 flowers huddled up together  at the two  extremities of the scarf.

 

Also a note about the pattern…I tried my best, it is most likely the most complex pattern I have written so far and I am still learning so, fingers crossed, I hope it is comprehensible enough for all of you to try,  I added some pictures that I hope will help when my pattern writing it is a bit puzzling…

CLICK THIS LINK TO DOWNLOAD THE PATTERN: Spanish Moss Scarf- luciasfigtree 

Stylecraft is doing a competition today where if you enter you got a chance to win a pack like the one I have used.. so give it a go! this is the link to the competition:

https://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/28570cc5126/?.

I am sure you can use for any of the amazing projects that the rest of the Blogstars have made so far and in the next few days!

The great thing is that, by the time the Blog tour is over, you will have 16 different projects to choose from!! and you will find for sure one that appeals to you!

And, the last thing, DO NOT MISS  tomorrow Blogtour’s entry from   Zelna from http://zootyowlcards.blogspot.co.uk/.  she is amazingly talented and I can’t wait to see what she has come up with…

love you all,

happy crocheting,

Lucia xx

 

The August blanket: when things do not go as planned….

My august blanket…you might all think what happend?

Normally I blog a few times during the month and I have a ‘plan’  but blankets can have a mind of their own and this one took a different route.

This blanket was not going to be a place or a painting or a memory. This blanket was going to be about something really special that comes with blogging.

Blogging for me is about throwing  all your dreams, time, passion and the odd ball of yarn…  to this virtual space like paper airplanes. Some are just not meant to fly and they dive down or land on a puddle. However, some take the wind and they bring back amazing things, they bring back possibilities, new ideas, even more, paper in magazine articles’s form or patterns, but my favorite planes are those who bring me back friendship.

We all need that. It is as important as the air we breathe.. it keeps us healthy, focus our minds, helps us when the chips are down and also help us to celebrate good things.

I am sure there  are many more  reasons why people blog, people blog for support a cause or sharing information that matters to them, people blog for expanding their business, or for financial gain, some blog to educate others on different topics, but a lot of people blog for fun and sharing things that they like. Regardless what your reasons are often the  audience you attract through blogging doesn’t have to just be your “audience.” They can become your friends

I think deep down that is one of the main reason why many bloggers spend hours upon hours writing. Of course, I am not so naive thinking that it is all pink and fluffy and some of us are out there for purely personal or financial gain but I m pretty sure that loads are there because they genuinely want to share their passion with the world

Blogging is an amazing platform to communicate and share experiences, dreams, passions and is not just a one-way route, the best part for me is all of you out of there. I love getting comments and response, I love knowing that we have something in common, we share an interest but sometimesI found that crochet opens the doors to much much more that goes beyond some lovely comments about a well-executed blanket.  Crochet opens the door to friendship… such a big word!

So you might are wondering if I am diverting once again, but I am not..Ok I m maybe taking the scenic route to come to the point. The August blanket is about the online friends I made been a blogger.

I met a lot of amazing people been on social media from all corners of the world which have inspired me with their amazing creations, kindness, patience on putting up with my chaotic mind and most of all general good chat.

If you have seen this picture I posted on Facebook at the beginning of the month, you might have noticed the beautiful Durban girl square designed by Jen from Hooks and Tales. https://hooksntales.blogspot.co.uk/

in this past months I have been chatting with Jen about many things and not only crochet, she is a most extraordinary lady with a track loads of talent and a great deal of humanity too. After chatting with her I was going to make an amazing blanket using some of her beautiful patterns. So I left with a bag full of yarn ready for ACTION!!

 

 

 

Then I boarded the plane…with some planned plane-friendly yarn and small project because there is always some crochet you can do on a plane that doesn’t involve invading your fellow passenger’s space with scissors, loads of balls of yarn…

 

Then I landed in Venice…

and I got HIT BY A WALL OF HEAT! I obviously was aware that the difference between Scotland and Italy’s temperatures is huge, but I wasn’t expecting 41 celsius!

I suspect 25 years in Scotland lowered my tolerance to the season but I found the heat so fierce that it made working with acrylic an impossible task even if with air conditioning. So disappointing…

all my plans had to be revisited…

My parents live in a small village now at the foot of the Euganean Hills in a region called Veneto. My brother lives there too with his family. It is the Pianura Padana or the Po Valley and with Bologna, Florence and a handful of other urban areas probably the hottest /humid place in Italy.

So I went back rummaging in my bag…and I did bring some cotton with me too, but I am so spoiled at home with my wall of yarn and colors that I was missing some of the colors I wanted and I couldn’t come up with something to make to keep me busy for the month. So before leaving for the mountains and the sea,  I went to visit the local Yarn shop in the village. It is called ‘Non solo mercerie’  which translated in ‘Not only haberdashery’ and it is run by a lovely lady called, like me, Lucia.

this is Lucia, the picture is the work of Alessio, a local talented photographer  https://www.facebook.com/Fotostudio4A/  the one I took was out of focus.

Lucia and I are friends on Facebook and we sometimes chat a bit on line, so was really nice catching up with her and Claudia in person, in their lovely shop 😀

and chatting about the inevitable heat, but more interesting about yarn, the difference in trends in Italy and the UK, the retail business, and how difficult it can be owning a brick and mortar yarn business,  new colors and blogging. I decided then to put my beloved Durban girl in her bag and find something new to do. Lucia had a box of Anchor cotton sitting in the shop,

I haven’t used Anchor cotton in years, I didn’t even realize that it came in so many different colors, so I bought a few random balls, not much of a plan and I left for the mountains to escape the heat. Look how glorious the Dolomites are!

As I had not a clue what I was going to make, and I also had some poor internet connection with the phone, I opted for something very simple also because these three weeks have been really busy. in an ideal world I would have sat  high in  the Dolomites trekking and looking at the amazing scenery, but I also wanted to catch up with my family cousins and Olympia, my youngest daughter,

and travel companion wanted to go to the beach…so  I traveled 2500 kilometers up and down the country catching up with people and places.

here some pictures… mountains and sea…:D

 

I am going to write another entry with the details..sorry is a bit late but please stay with me I am trying to catch up…:D

oh…here is the  August blanket made photographed on the beach 😀

love to you all,

Lucia x

 

 

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