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

 

A Tyrolean table set

If someone had told me last Christmas , that the world was going to change and I would spend the best part of the new year in lockdown in my home and scamper trying to rally all my children back I would first thought you have been watching far too many sci-fi movies .

Travel bans and self-quarantines across the globe have led to ‘U-turns’ and majour change of plans…

Today I should be packing ready to leave and spend a few weeks with my family in Italy , instead my flight has been cancelled and I am going no where…What I found more frightening is not the disruption of my plans but the fact that even visiting your parents is an impossible idea.

So while spending another week under lockdown, myself as many of you all over the world are looking cautiously and hopefully to better times.

So what is the best way to focus on positive thoughts?

Making something that remind you of happier and better times!

That is the thought behind my TYROLEAN TABLE SET.

 

 

As few of you know I come from a small village in Northen Italy and I love the Dolomites. I am so lucky that I had the opportunity to spend  weekends and long holidays on the most amazing beautiful mountains since I was a little girl and now my children are enjoying visiting the same village as I did.

[email protected] pietropoli

I love everything of the landscape of South Tyrol  the picture perfect villages, the fresh air, the majestic mountains, the trees,the food and …obviously the textiles.

[email protected] patrick baum

The Tyrolean region  has an amazing tradition of beautiful fabric, natural materials, yarn and garments.

One of my favourite garment of the Alps is the Dirndl. My girls ,over the years, have enjoyed wearing this beautiful  folk costume and  traditional dress for women and girls in the Alps.

With a lot of colours and textures in mind I created this new project and ,if you want to make something that is not too challenging or time consuming , a little project to enjoying between other works in progress, or a quick present to give to a loved one I think the TYROLEAN TABLE SET is a great option.

The pattern has written instructions and there are charts for both place-mat and coaster.

Tyrolean Table Set

I used Drops Muscat dk, a 100% mercerised cotton yarn, the quantities are specified in grams and there are 3 different colours options

You can find your yarn here:

Wool Warehouse

WOOL WAREHOUSE DROPS MUSCAT LINK

 

With a dk yarn the place-mat measures 39 cm/15.5 inches  in diameter and the coaster measures 12 cm/5inches.

All the best to You all out there, stay safe and keep crocheting!

love,

Lucia

 

The Coorie shawl, Tinna and I…..

Hi Everyone,

Well two posts in the space of a few days.. things are indeed changing…

I normally stay clear from talking about myself or my life and I focus on general topics or a crochet project, mainly because I do not think my life is so eventful to be worth it sharing but I am going to make an exception with this post.

I still find quite surreal what is going on around me at the moment but I guess I am not alone in my bewilderment.

By last Thursday the adrenaline that fuelled me over the mad rush to try to sort out as much as possible before the lock down dwindled to fumes, and I suddenly got hit by the enormity of the situation not only for me and my family but for the entire human race. That subsequently morphed into an overwhelming anxiety based on  tsunami of “what if…” dreadful scenarios.

I was so engulfed by the all thing that I couldn’t even pick up my hook and work on something.

I just went to my bed…

then, as I couldn’t sleep, I picked up my phone, which normally I NEVER do, as all Electronic devices are banned , in purpose,from my bedroom, but in these past few weeks I made an exception  and kept it by my bedside just in case I end up missing  a call from my parents or my brother in Italy…

Any way, I am scrolling  down my messages and I see one from Tinna .

I post a screen-shot for you…

So I  downloaded the pdf expecting the new pattern we had chatted about while she was here instead there is something new: the Coorie shawl…

and I am like awww a Scottish inspired pattern, so nice of her…

then I read the introduction and I started to cry…

What can I say?

Serendipity…things happen to you when you most need them!

 

I am posting the introduction here, but, please ,forgive me if it might seems a bit self indulgent.

I assure you that it is not the reason why I am posting it at all.

I am sharing it with you because those lines encompass all what I love about crochet!

Crochet is about feeling good ,enjoying the craft, it is about friendship,gifting, sharing, exchanging. Crochet is about hard work behind the scenes, it is about an overwhelming addiction to yarn, but what Crochet is for me is people!!

Please do not get me wrong, it is not all pretty rainbows and fluffy clouds,

more you share more you put yourself out there .

Bigger is your presence on line bigger isyour exposure to all sort, and you do encounter some unpleasant people which take vantage of you and your craft, but, thank goodness, there aren’t so many of them and the overall experience is so worth the effort, the sleepless nights, because the pattern is not right, the frustration with technology, the worries, the lack of time and more so the going back and start again…

The magical bit happens when, in your journey, you stumble in someone very special indeed.. and you find out that besides crochet you got loads of other things in common!

So when I picked up Tinna at the airport that Tuesday it felt like I was picking up a old friend,I opened my home to her and she fitted in like a glove as simple as that and if wasn’t for the crochet I will never have met her!

So yesterday I set aside what I was working on, pull out the lovely Icelandic  Plötulopi yarn Tinna brought me and I am making my Coorie, with this lovely surprising light unspun yarn  it will remind me of the lovely time we had together and I cannot wait for the next time we will see each other again.

As the real magic in life is just human kindness.

So all the best to you all out there, stay safe

Peace and love,

also  last but not least, if you want to make your COORIE too you can find Tinna’s pattern here:

https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/coorie-3

LUCIA XXX.

 

 

Last chapter on the January ‘s blues blanket.

I can not believe we are already in February!

Normally January drags a bit on for me but this year has definitely not been the case.

I guess I have been very busy with work and with “non-crochet “related stuff but I still managed to add a border and finish the blanket.

Today I can give you the last pieces of information so, if you like, you can finish your blanket in the same way.

About the border, I am going to digress a little bit and give you some thoughts.

I personally love borders very much especially if they are big and bold!

That works even better if you have a simple pattern throughout the main body of the blanket as we have in this case. Maybe my propensity for statements borders is due to the fact that my first attempts on crochet, many years ago, were cotton’s tread fancy borders for linen towels!

If you are Italian or Spanish or just Mediterranean in general you might are very familiar with them.

another picture this time from the oldest and most famous creative magazine in italy called “Mani di fata” which translate very appropriately in “Faerie hands” !!

It used to be a great test for beginners to master crochet without embarking in something too challenging or time-consuming, even if, I have to admit, it still took a fair amount of time to make them as the cotton yarn was at least a 4ply but often much thinner than that.

I have a few stashed in a drawer somewhere in the house, I use them seldom as they are delicate and definitely not tumble-driers proof!!!

If bold and big is not your style, it doesn’t matter as a ripple pattern can look just beautiful as it is! the little scallop at the top and end can be left as it is and still look fabulous so do not panic if you cannot be bothered doing the border your blanket will still look lovely. Just surf the internet or Pinterest for inspirations, and remember it is YOUR blanket so don’t be afraid to go off-piste! actually, I love if you go off-piste and you put your input! it makes your blanket more personal.

Back to what I have done… some pictures to start with:

In my case, I filled the ripple because I prefer straight edges especially if you are opting for a more challenging border.

I draw the distribution of the “filling” stitches for the top and bottom of the blanket.

I started my foundation round with the Pistachio on the corner ( now you can see why it is good to start and finish the blanket with the same colour. it brings continuity on your foundation  round, which means when you start the next round of the border with a contrasting colour ( in my case is the claret) you have a solid even base to work with)

on the side I worked 2 dc in the space created by each tr at the beginning and end of each round .

I have in my case 195 stitched in each of the vertical sides of the blanket and 114 on each of the horizontal for the 4 corners we have :(1dc-ch1-1dc) repeated 4 times.

so the foundation round is made of (1dc-2ch-1dc)+ 114 +(1dc-2ch-1dc)+195+ (1dc-2ch-1dc)+114+(1dc-2ch-1dc)+195.

the border is done with Claret and a 3.5 hook

I have chosen for the border  again a diagram I found on Pinterest this is a picture of it. I made some minor adjustments to the last couple of rounds to simplify it mainly because the pattern is written for a cotton thread and not DK yarn.

Ther repeat of the pattern is on a multiple of 10 so on my first round of claret I added 4 stitches in the each of the short sides and 3 on each of the long sides.

If you use another pattern for the border please consider adjusting the number of the stitches according to the repeat!

I posted a couple of close-up so you can see better how the pattern develops. It has a fair amount of rounds but it is pretty fast.

my last round is a contrasting one done in Fuchsia purple.

YARN QUANTITIES USED for the border:

for the Filling round and foundation, I used 35 grams of  PISTACHIO

for the BORDER:

  • ROUND 1 TO 7 : I used  150 grams of CLARET
  • ROUND 8 : I used 30 grams of  FUCHSIA PURPLE

last but not least….

I have been asked if I can transcribe the diagrams into words…. I know for many of you it is easier to use written instructions but I wish you tried ( NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTION !!!) to use a diagram!! It will open you amazing opportunities! this blanket, in particular, has such an easy diagram so please give it a try trust me you will never look back! there are loads of tutorial on you tube to learn how to read a diagram, do have a look and see which one suits you better.

love to you all…

I have something new I am working on so I will post again very soon,

lucia xx

 

 

 

 

 

A little bit more about the January’s blues blanket

Firstly sorry this blog entry is a bit late, finally, after a very frustrating weekend, I got my blog back!

I am quite impressed with myself for sticking to my new year’s resolutions ( or trying to) …I am back writing again!…( mind you it is early days…) nevertheless it feels good!

One of my children bought me a planner this year, I don’t know if it is meant to be a gentle hint to get better organised as I failed completely last year trying to ‘get organised’ using an App on my phone!

So on 2019, we go back to basic! Hoping that pen and paper might do the trick for me …

Do you have a planner too?

I still have to get used to these little snippets of encouragement that are keeping appearing randomly on this planner ..they make me giggle. I just discovered that there are stickers too! Probably those are a step too far for me🤣🤣🤣

I will keep you posted!

Let’s get back to the blanket.

I finished the main body a couple of days ago and I have been gathering the details so you can make one yourself.

As you know the blanket is not completed but I think it could be interesting for you to follow me “in real time” and see the blanket coming along, a bit like being behind the scenes.

The pattern is really simple, that was the point of this blanket in the first place,  to do something really easy and relaxing.

I used a V-STITCH RIPPLE for my blanket. As said on Facebook there are several versions and options for the stitch available out there.

The version I used I found it on Pinterest. Just a diagram nothing more here is the picture I have used.

.

I like to give credit to the designers even if  I think this is just a diagram of something that has been out in the open as a free pattern.  All I got is a watermark which said Tejiendo Peru’  I have also tried to get in touch with them but with no joy. so I assume it is ok for me to share with you as it is in the public domain already..

I  used the diagram above as a guide but  I did an alteration to it.

If you read the diagram you noticed that the rows are worked on the front (RIGHT side ) , then you turn your blanket and you work on the back (WRONG side). If you follow the diagram as it is in the picture below  you can see  the result:

I didn’t like the results on turning your work after each round, as I think it muddles the effect of the stitch so I opted for working just on the RIGHT SIDE ONLY! you can see the difference in the picture here:

The blanket is even, each round is exactly the same, no difference either in size or texture. Also because I change yarn every row it makes no difference of whatsoever if I  work always in the front.

Maybe you are all thinking I can’t see where the fuss is all about, but believe me when you work the all blanket you definitely will be able to see the difference between the two options. working just on the front makes a much better-looking blanket.

The blanket still doesn’t have a border but the main part measures 90 cm wide by 140 Cm long

the yarn used is STYLECRAFT SPECIAL DK . the hook size is a 3.5 mm (E).

Here the list of the colours I used:

The number between brackets refers to the quantities of yarn used in grams. obviously, do bear in mind that the yarn usage is just an indication based on my tension and a 3.5 hook used.

So dig out your leftovers from your stash as you might be able to use them and plan the blanket.

  • LIPSTICK (13)
  • SPICE (53)
  • CLARET (29)
  • MAGENTA (17)
  • PLUM (29)
  • FONDANT (27)
  • CLEMATIS (29)
  • MUSTARD (71)
  • PISTACHIO (90)
  • SHERBET (51)
  • ASPEN (33)
  • TURQUOISE (23)
  • STORM BLUE (10)
  • PETROL (34)
  • CYPRESS (25)
  • TOMATO (25)
  • MEADOW (71)
  • FUCHSIA PURPLE (52)

The pattern is based on a 14 stitches repeat plus 3. I started with 269 chain stitches that gave me 19 REPEATS ( 90 cm wide) it is very easy to adjust the size by adding or subtracting repeats to get to the size that you want.

I also took note of the colours sequence I used. there are 96 rows.

a  couple of HINTS :

  • if you look at the blanket I have repeated the first 3 rows in reverse order at the end. that will finish your blanket much better, it is like a visual frame which works beautifully not only for this blanket but in any you might want to do at home.
  • I also started each row with a self-standing treble and NOT 3 chains as in the diagram ( simply because I feel is a more sturdy way to start and it will work better when we will add the border.

that is all for today

thank you for reading,

Lucia xx

A little catch-up!

A little catch-up… I know it has been AGES!

I don’t know about you but time has passed me by in a whirl of yarn, patterns, ideas, pictures, stories and the odd family commitment or two..lol

So where to start…

I have pulled together very basic information about the Wreath because I know quite a few of you are interested in it.

I made it, as said, a couple of years ago, I guess I must have been a bit bored and when I am bored of my current WIPs or I am tired, I always look for something reasonably small and quick to make. I call it “instant gratification”

It turns out that in these 2 years I found my wreath really useful, I never, as said on Facebook, stitched the pieces permanently on the ring but I left them pinned down with these little white headspins.  I have used that wreath many times, for trying different colour combinations or using some of the flowers as decoration in pictures of other projects.

So if you need to test some colours instead than doing a lot of boring squares, make some flowers!! Then you can play with them!

There are many wreaths available in both Ravelry and Pinterest that can help you to decide how to make yours, for me, my initial inspiration was seeing the most amazing, beautiful and complicated wreaths that Lucy @attic24 had made and that what spun me making one.

Mine is much more simple in comparison with Lucy but .. did I mention, instant gratification??? LOL

I love small projects that can be made in a day or a weekend!

I have been looking throughout the past couple of days if I had saved any pattern or link or reference, but all I found were a couple of pictures. So for the purpose of this blog I pulled my wreath down and I made a 3D daisy and the 5 petal flower again so I can jot down the details.

so let’s start :

what do you need?

  • 1 half rounded polystyrene ring – 35cm in diameter. It has to be flat in the back and rounded in the front. (you can get them from crafts shops or Amazon)
  • leftover yarns.

 

Please look at Lucy’s wreaths, she has a very comprehensive tutorial on how to cover up your polystyrene ring and also there are some lovely patterns for the leaves too, which I used in my wreath. this is the link to Lucy’s blog wreath :

http://attic24.typepad.com/weblog/2015/03/winter-wreath-ta-dah-1.html

 

for the base of my wreath, I used some Lopi’s ALAFOSSLOPI  yarn left over from a jumper it is a chunky yarn, the colours are:

  • 0085 OATMEAL HEATHER
  • 0867 CHOCOLATE HEATHER.

                      

 

I love this Icelandic 100% yarn because has a rustic, organic feeling, and it makes the most amazing super -toasty jumper ever!

I can’t remember exactely what hook I used but I guess must have been either a 4.00 or a 4.5 mm, you want your fabric to be dense so it covers the ring beautifully. So make a small section and see if it covers up the ring neatly. Mine worked, like Lucy’s, in rows of double crochet stitches (Uk terms)  22 stitches wide and 112 rows alternating 2 rows in oatmeal and 2 in chocolate.

To help to keep the strip in place as well as the sewing in the back I sprayed my ring with some SprayMount Yp208060506 adhesive spray, I use it in the office for my mood boards, it is great, but make sure you spray lightly!

now to the FLOWERS:

the yarn is leftovers of STYLECRAFT SPECIAL DK in:

  • storm blue
  • duck egg
  • mustard
  • camel
  • grape
  • lime
  • pale rose
  • parchment
  • gold

you also need some polyester toy filling for the centre of the daisy. If you have none, ordinary cotton wool balls will do.

 

I made 2 types of flowers :

-10  Hellebore flowers from Lucy’s wreath, pattern link here:

http://attic24.typepad.com/weblog/crochet-hellebore-flower.html

-12  three dimensional  daisies:

the pattern as follow:

The centre of the daisy is done with the same principle of amigurumi, crocheting in a spiral, without joining in the round and without turning the crochet work,

Start with any yarn and a 4.00mm hook and make a magic ring

Rnd1 :

Work 6 dc in a magic ring. ( 6 dc)

Rnd2:

work 2 dc in each stitch. ( 12dc)

Rnd3:

work [dc in next st, 2 dc in next st] repeat [ ] 6 times ( 18st)

 

Rnd4:

work 1dc in each st. ( 18dc)

Rnd5:

as Rnd 4 (18 st).

Rnd6:

as Rnd4 (18st) put a marker in any of those stitches as a reference for the petals we are going to do after.

Rnd7:

as Rnd4. (18 st).

Rnd8:

we start the decreasing now and your work will start to looks like a little cup.

work [1dc, 2dc together] 6times . stuff your little cup with the filling.

Rnd9:

work 2dc together all around, add some more stuffing and close the bud. ( if you want you can leave a long tail to sew the flower to the wreath later).

        

 

 

PETALS:

with a different yarn work on the side ( rnd6) , using the picture as a reference,

1st ROUND OF PETALS

work :

[1dc, ch3,skip 1 st, 1dc ] all around that should give you 9ch3 loops that we are going to fill up to make the first ring of petals.

 

in each of the ch3 spaces work: 1dc-1htr-2tr-1htr-1dc.

              

 

 

            

 

 

2nd ROUND OF PETALS

work:

1dc in the skipped st above, 5 ch, skip 1 dc and repeat that makes another round of  9petals  staggered from the petals before the previous round. In  each of the ch5 space we work: [1dc-1htr-4tr-1htr-1dc ]

        

 

 

that makes our 3D DAISY!

LEAVES:

makes 18 ( again make as much as you like!)

the pattern is again from lucy’s @Attic24, this is the link:

http://attic24.typepad.com/weblog/may-roses.html

For my version I used some  leftovers of STYLECRAFT CHUNKY SPECIAL  and  some of the ALAFOSS LOPI I used for covering the ring in:

STYLECRAFT SPECIAL CHUNKY:

  • gold
  • camel
  • dark brown
  • lime ( stylecraft DK)

ALAFOSS LOPI

  • oatmeal heather
  • chocolate heather.

then you can take a few pins and place your little flowers and leaves all around the ring…

hope it has helped

love to you all and happy “crocheting”..( someone told me I shouldn’t use the term “happy hooking”!)

I got a few more things  coming along so stay tuned!!!

lucia xxx

 

 

 

 

 

Cosmic, amigurumi and other stories…

Hello everyone,

Here I am with a new blog entry to keep you all updated on my …never-end stack of Works in progress!!..

So where to start…my obsession with amigurumi is still in full swing…

I got a couple of new books one of which is SUPER CUTE! it is all about bugs and butterflies.What fascinated me is that  Lydia Tresselt, the designer behind LalyLala, is so skilled that made even a fly looking cute!

I attempted a butterfly, is not finished yet, the pattern is beautifully written as  Lydia has been writing amigurumi patterns for a long time.I am sure many of you are well acquainted with her kangaroos and other super cute animals, if not please have a look at her work, it is well worth it a visit.

https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/lalylala

” Lalylala’s Beetles, Bugs and Butterflies” is her last book, I got it from Amazon a few days ago. It is lovely and a  bit different from the average crochet book, the first part tells a story about the life cycle of the insects and the second part is all about patterns for the different stages of the bugs lives. from caterpillar to adult insect, they look very cute and easy to make.   I think they would be perfect for a child because they are not only lovely to play with but, to a degree, they could be quite educational, as they are not too “human-like “as often happens to amigurumis. on that subject, I have discovered another amazing designer, Sonja van der Wijk , her website is called Son’s popkes  https://sonspopkes.com/

I bought 3 of her patterns on Ravelry, and I got one free I thought to would be a good idea to use some of the Lett-lopi yarn I got in my stash…

if you follow me you might remember the Odinella blanket I made last year using   Lett-lopi.

https://luciasfigtree.com/patterns/odinella-icelandic-blanket/

 

a fabulous yarn especially for knitting and if you are interested in making outdoors garments or beautiful Lopapeysa ,with their recognizable design that has since become a national icon for Icelandic cultural identity ( I love Iceland!)

I made so many  Lopapeysa over the years, they have been my favourite knitting project. So if you love knitting and you also love the outdoors I would definitely recommend knitting one. They can be a bit scratchy at the beginning but they become amazingly soft with age and also they last a long time!

Francesca, my daughter, has a favourite one  I made for her when she was 16 and she wear it all the time..it has a couple of holes on the sleeves but I think it adds to the charm!

you can see it here.

I also have to finish my last bear and i have to  make a  “VERY PINK” ‘s one for my niece, Aurora, she is going to be 7 at the end of May and she loves pink…

This week I also finished joining together the Camo-blanket for Francesca.. I loved joining together the squares she made ,and adding a border.

More WIP’s…the COSMIC CAL!!  how exciting!!!

I normally don’t do Cals because I am really impatient and I  haven’t done a Cal since the Sophie’s Universe, but I think the Cosmic is a lovely one so I decided to give it a go.https://www.crystalsandcrochet.com/

I have been an admirer of Helen’s work since she started designing, she has recently joined the Stylecraft’s blogstars group and has been a real privilege chatting to her, she is not only a great designer but also a lovely all around person!.  the Cosmic is going to be my first blanket using Helen’s patterns.

 

Part one went live this week on the Stylecraft’s web site, it is available in English, American and Dutch, but on Helen’s page is translated in many other languages so have a look at Helen’s page! there is also a video tutorial too on youtube which I found very helpful.

I enjoyed the pattern so much that I made 2 versions as I couldn’t make up my mind about the yarn!! I made a Stylecraft SPECIAL DK ‘s one and an Aran weight one with some Drop’s NEPAL that I had at home.

 

Some of you ladies as asked me about the colours I used on the Stylecraft’s version so here they are: plum/matador/mustard/petrol/empire/gold/bright pink/aspen/magenta/spice/storm blue/fuchsia purple/lipstick/fondant /tomato.

I am not sure yet how I am going to use them and if I will drop a colour or two…as all of you I am following the CAL so is a bit if an adventure!

I also decided to make my life more complicated and in certain rounds, I used 2 colours instead then 1 so again I don’t know if that will work for all the different parts..I will keep you posted, and here is part one of the Stylecraft’s version finished and I am nearly there with the Aran too.

that is all for today, wishing you all a lovely weekend,

the sun shined in Scotland for a couple of hours!…it is back cloudy now..lol

see you next time! thank you for reading

Lucia xx

 

I AM BACK !!!!!!

I am BACK!!!

I know it has been ages…

I have been so busy trying to finish several projects which I  had committed to it and I  was so frustrated because I couldn’t share any of the work I was doing… but now my last project is live  I am BACK  !!!!!!

It has been an amazing few months!

I have been working flat out on several things.. I should also say  I did take on board a bit too much and at times I was slightly overwhelmed by the all things but now that all the blankets are available it makes it all worthwhile.

The final chapter was to deliver my last blanket to CROCHET NOW’s HQ last month!  very exciting and a bit scary too… The RISE &SHINE cal has been a real labour of love! to create something to keep an audience interested and more so, happy to continue on a project that is going to run over 12 months it is NOT an easy task!!

I really hope you will like it, and with trepidation, I am waiting for the reactions online as it went live TODAY !!!!!!!!!

So I am back writing again… I missed writing my blog, but I know you all have very busy lives and I didn’t want to fill my blog with idle chit-chat and not been able to tell you what I was doing.  so where to start…

Let’s go in reverse order and start with the latest project…

here are some pictures, also you will find pieces of information on the CAL on Crochet Now website… I have a few more pictures but I will post them as the CAL progresses.

 

The blanket is a CAL and will run over 12 months.

Part 1 can be found in Issue 27 of Crochet Now which will be in shops on Thursday 12th April or available to buy online at www.moremags.com/crocheting 

I have used STYLECRAFT SPECIAL DK, (mainly using 2 strands  held together)  the colours are:

 

Stylecraft Special DK – 295m per 100g ball; 100% acrylic

3 balls in Mustard 1823

2 balls each in Fuchsia Purple 1827, magenta 1084, Shrimp 1132, Grass Green 1821, Sage 1725, Bright Pink 1435, Emperor 1425

1 ball each in Plum 1061, Fondant 1241, Pistachio 1822, Empire 1829, Petrol 1708, Lipstick 1246

(Important Note: Based on the designer’s tension, 98g of Fondant 1241 and 96g of Empire 1829 were used in this blanket. If you are unsure of how loose your tension is, we recommend purchasing additional balls of these shades.)

Stylecraft Special Aran – 196m per 100g ball; 100% acrylic

1 ball in Lipstick 1246

 

What I can say, is that it is really great fun, it is a project for everyone and I hope you will love it.

It is all about texture, interesting techniques,  and more so COLOUR!!!

I don’t know where you are based around the world, but for us in the UK has been one VERY LONG WINTER!! we had snow in Scotland up to last weekend.. really  I’m still thinking spring will never come this year!! so the brightness of the colours of the Rise & Shine kept me entertained during the winter months. To be able to create something it can be really tiring and sometimes quite frustrating too…especially when things do not go to plan, but I loved every moment of it.

But thats not all…

two more blankets I designed for Stylecraft went live a few weeks ago… both bursting with colours, one is called HYPNO and the other BOHO…

you can find them as a Pattern  here:

https://www.poppys-holmfirth.co.uk/lucia-s-shop/lucia-s-shop/lucia-dunn-hypno-blanket-cushion-printed-pattern-9527

https://www.poppys-holmfirth.co.uk/lucia-s-shop/lucia-s-shop/lucia-dunn-boho-blanket-and-cushion-printed-pattern-9528

at the same time, I made the Valentina Shawl…for Poppy’s ,

and I wrote the pattern with the help of the ladies at Poppy’s for the Walrus blanket too..they are both available on my shop at Poppy’ s https://www.poppys-holmfirth.co.uk/lucia-s-shop/lucia-s-shop  and soon should also be on my Ravelry’s store.

 

I will write all about my Poppy’s adventures as it deserves a proper special blog entry!  everyone made me so welcome! and it has been amazing to be able to collaborate with others! but I will do it in a  separate entry,  this one is just for touching base, dust off the cobwebs out of my blog and just let you know I am back again.

So you have: a CAL, 2 BLANKETS, A SHAWL  and the WALRUS BLANKET too…

what am I doing now? …

I am helping to finish my daughter  Francesca’s granny square blanket… she made 180 squares and she panicked a little when it came to joining them so I said I was going to help… ( don’t ask me why…)

I also had a dip into amigurumi…

It all started because I needed a rest from Blankets and I wanted a little project.. if you follow me on facebook you might have guessed I got a bit obsessed with it! no idea why the amigurumis are so addictive!

it might be the fact that you work on a tridimensional plane and that is a bit of a novelty to me… so I started with a Crafter Granny… then I made a bear, then  I made another bear..( which I  still have to complete)..then I tried a bunny but looked like out of a horror movie …then my son Giuseppe asked me to make  a  chameleon for his girlfriend that loves  Tangled’s Pascal.. so I just finished that a day ago ready for her 18th birthday..

I am planning other things too… but I needed a few weeks of not designing, recharging my batteries by just enjoying other people amazing patterns!! and I feel the energy coming back which is a good news indeed!!

So, as I LOVE lists of TO DO’s my new resolutions are…

  • do not take too much work on!!!
  • write at least 2 blogs a month with updates on what I am doing,
  • walk and not be a couch crocheting potato!
  • be more social and not a grumpy bear hiding behind a mountain of yarn…
  • organise some new exciting material for classes ( because I love teaching!!!) and put some dates in the diary.
  • make more videos!
  • last but not least go to London to see my daughter Valentina!!
  • loads of more things that I am sure I have forgotten…

that is all for today! thank you for all your support, I love your messages and all your lovely comments on Facebook and Instagram!

and on that subject just a little note…

I understand how frustrating  it must be not to be able to get either the patterns or the kits for the Eastern Jewels and the Frida’s Primavera because often they are sold out or are not available as digital downloads , but as I replied to many of  you, I just designed both the patterns and I am not involved in how they are distributed.

So please get in touch with ether Stylecraft or Janie Crow if you need some updated pieces of information.

https://www.stylecraft-yarns.co.uk/

https://janiecrow.co.uk/presta/

My only direct contact with the retail status is Poppy’s and I know they have  sold several packs of the Eastern Jewels, ( the Frida’s Primavera is just available  from Jane ) but again they too, as retailers, depend from Jane and Stylecaft for the  printed patterns so please, if you are interested, leave your email with Helen’s at Poppy’s and I am sure that if the packs will be back in stock she will message you .

https://www.poppys-holmfirth.co.uk/lucia-s-shop/lucia-s-shop

HAPPY CROCHET!  thank you for reading,

love to you all

LUCIA XXX

The “art” of blanket planning…a beginner’s journey

I am still thinking if I am going to have a theme or what I am planning for 2018… I have few deadlines I need to honour but after that, I am a free -bird and I can do whatever I fancy.

So in the midst of creating something new and exciting I am also putting together a program for classes for beginners and more advanced crocheters, because one of the highlights of last year was teaching, I discovered that  I LOVE TEACHING! I like the excitement to meet new people, I like the energy and buzz that they bring to the table and I like that they go home, hopefully with some new skills to work with.

teaching to beginners is probably the most challenging of all lessons as it is often their first encounter with this amazing exciting artform and you want to pass on the rudiments of crochet as well as possible,

but at the same time not be boring or frustrating or altogether scary!  so I engaged the help of my daughter Francesca to test some samples of possible projects to make sure that I teach them  to walk before to run as Hussein Bolt! Francesca is great because she can crochet already, she is what I would call a very keen beginner and I think that is a good platform to start with.

While testing and chatting about several possibilities she said she wanted to make a blanket “all by herself” for someone very special… so I started to say ..ok what do you have in mind, what size, what colours, what yarn …etc.

 

 

It became apparent to me that you can make an original, interesting and exciting blanket from scratch even if you are a beginner, just following some basic rules.

So that is what this  Blog entry is all about a beginner’s journey…and I will keep you updated on her progress and you might find something interesting to use on your projects at home.

So where to start…

WOOOW SO EXCITING I AM GOING TO MAKE A NEW BLANKET!….

then comes the frantic search on Pinterest , Ravelry, magazines, books, social media, and patterns of all sorts.. which is all good.

So I encouraged her to collect things, scrap of fabrics, leafs, stones , anything that can create a visual map .  Even the process to combine them all together it is very important because you can focus on the colours and that will reflect on the choice of yarns you are going to make . so make a bord, take a picture with your phone and THEN CHOOSE THE YARN!!

Bring the picture with you at your yarn-store or use it as reference if you shop on line  or even to select some hues from your stash..( because we all have one of those…).

So Francesca collected things she likes and patterns she finds interesting, but also I reminded her that if you make something for someone else your search should be focused not on the pattern you like or you want to make yourself, but on what he/she would  like to have!

She made the boards and took the pictures herself  …so this is a collaboration project!

Some nature’s inspiration….and , by the way, you do not need amazing skills or amazing landscapes, travelling or what so ever…just go outside !!!

Very often you see on social media fellow crocheters complaining that they spent a lot of time, efforts and money making  what they thought was a lovely blanket ar scarf or whatever but they encounter  a very  tepid reception. Now I do believe there is always a rogue one that no matter what you make he/she still could not  careless but you will find that 99% of the  time people love receiving a handmade gift made with  love. .. BUT  you must follow a few rules to succeed…

I have to confess, I have seen some shockers on my computer that made me think ..oh well no wonder it didn’t work out!

FIRST RULE:

ARE YOU SURE HE/SHE WANTS A BLANKET?????

that is a GREAT START  to figure that out first!  maybe he /she prefer a new t-shirt, a pair of shoes, a concert ticket, been taken out on a special day, a Transformer, some Kyle Jenner’s makeup or a gosh.. a Gucci bag! I don’t know..million of different possibilities and remember

if he/she doesn’t really want a blanket it is not all lost! don’t get upset or deflated..just MAKE A BLANKET FOR YOURSELF ! or find someone else 😀

SECOND RULE:

DO NOT BITE OFF MORE THEN YOU CAN CHEW!

aghhhh really delicate point… I know we all have seen the most amazing and intricate blanket and we want to make one exactly the same but you must  be realistic and not only look at your budget but also at your abilities especially if it is meant as a gift. it has to be right..none of that malarky “ohh I miss 2 stitches on my round 23..now I am at round 37  should I unravel and fix it?…if you noticed the answer is always YES!! totally utterly YES!!! I can’t stress that enough..the idea that you could call it unique means you are kidding yourself on ,it is like baking a cake and forgetting the sugar, apologies if I am being a little bit harsh.

I am going to tell you a little story… after the Frida’s  Primavera was released I had a lot of emails from ladies showing me their progress and I really loved to help and  compliment them on their efforts.. but I also had a lady who sent me a picture of the blanket and one of the  hexagons had only 5 sides… she  had joined the blanket and said to me..I know it has 5 sides and not 6 but will it be still ok? can you tell me how can I fix it ?.. what could  I say? there isn’t a nice way to say…sorry but you have to unravel the all blanket because it doesn’t look right.. I did say that and I don’t think she was very impressed at all.  I wish I had a “Magic Wand” or an a “Aladdin’s Lamp” to correct mistakes , but trust me..mistakes have to be fixed. I made tonnes myself and I have had to unravel countless times until I am entirely happy with it.  So the bottom line is;

if you see it, others, even if they do not crochet,  will see it too.

 

So CHECK YOUR WORK! and more importantly practice your square until you are completely happy with it,  before embarking on a full blanket!. It takes just maybe an evening  to practice a  motif or a  square,  please make a swatch of the stripe, or wave or  whatever pattern you plan to use..and I know it might be a bit boring and you are excited to start, but it will save you time and frustrations in the long run.

I have been going on a bit of a tangent..let’s get back on track…

 

so my advice is simple;

 

Do not bite off more you can chew.

Swatch whatever you think is good

Believe and be comfortable that you can do it.

And  tackle the project head on!

 

Please always remember, that  it is MUCH BETTER to make a beautifully executed properly planned, humble, granny square’s blanket, than  a wonky striped blanket or a complex hexagon blanket with  one of the sides missing .

Back to Francesca’s blanket…

As the blanket is for a guy she didn’t want a fussy pattern and she opted for ..the granny square. and I am very happy she did that because it allows me to show you what amazing potentials a granny square has!

So she did a few samples..until she was happy with it..then came the part I like most COLOURS !!! I leave you with a picture…and  I will tell you the story next time 😀

love to you all,

Lucia xx

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