Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Week # 50

At last, here is another new scrumble for the blog.

A bit of random lacy knitting with lots of roundish and oval crochet shapes. 

This time I just used some leftover bits and pieces that I unearthed the other day.  They had all been put away together in a bag, but they certainly hadn't been from a single project originally.  Mostly there was just a metre or two of any particular yarn.  Nearly all appeared to be either wool or a wool blend.

The colours were all rather bright, and I decided that I would just go with the combination of scraps that was already in the bag, using them all up and trying to arrange them in a reasonably pleasing way without leaving any out or resorting to adding any extras.

To give a bit of extra dimension to the piece, crab stitch was added to the edges of many of the curved crochet sections.  Sometimes this was done before the smaller pieces were joined on to the scrumble, but sometimes after.

My original intention when I started this blog had been to do a year's worth of scrumbles, adding a new one every week!  Obviously I didn't quite keep things on track that way...but since I am now finally up to #50, I plan to get the next 2 done fairly soon.  That will at least give me all 52 'weeks', even if it has taken me quite a few years to finally get there     ;-)

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Scrumble # 49

First off, a very happy and creative 2013 to everyone reading here.  I have to say I am rather proud of myself for getting around to posting a scrumble so early in the year.  Hope you like it.

As you can probably see, this one is all crochet.  Lots of different yellow-toned yarns in cottons, wools, silks, rayons and a weird synthetic blend. This last yarn would have been just awful if used in an entire garment.  It had absolutely no stretch, and went from being a really thin thread to having thick, oddly fuzzy and almost matted sections.  It was just great for freeforming!

I started the piece by wrapping a sunny yellow rayon yarn around the tip of my finger a couple of times to create a ring-like shape, then slipped it off my finger and worked over this 'padding' to create the initial motif.  Once this circle had been filled with a round of short stitches (UK:dc/US:sc) I continued on, creating more loops, filling them as I went.  The first few were made with the same yarn, but then I changed yarns periodically, using up other yellow bits and pieces from my stash. 

For each new loop I made 5 or 6 chain, then, after missing a stitch or three, I added a couple of slip stitches to attach the end of the chain firmly back onto the work.  Then I turned the piece to the other side, and filled the gap with as many short stitches as it took to completely cover the chain. 

There are also a couple of small crochet domes, and a few bullion clusters.  Sometimes I worked into the tops of previously made stitches, but sometimes behind other stitches, to create little ridges on the surface. 

When the piece measured about 6 inches across, I was sort of feeling that the scrumble was finished, and I went looking for the camera...and that was when I spotted a packet of printed wooden beads and the small ball of the funny synthetic yarn mentioned above.  Both said 'add me, add me', so I did.  The beads were strung onto the yarn, and I randomly pulled them up and crocheted them in place as I added a small and then a larger triangular shape on opposite sides of the piece, which elongated the original roundish scrumble into the more oval shape that you see above.


Thursday, December 27, 2012

#48

Figured that I'd better get another scrumble posted to the blog pretty soon, seeing that it is almost the end of the year already.  Where does the time get to?

I suddenly realized that the last one was posted here back in March, so my resolution to post photos reasonably often throughout the year didn't quite work!  Perhaps I will manage to update on a more regular basis in 2013...you never know ;-)

Apparently I am still in red-and-orange-mode, by the look of it; this one, like the previous scrumble, is very much in those tones.



This piece was actually the trial scrumble that I recently made when I was trying to decide on which yarns to use in a new freeform vest I am currently creating.  Most of the threads that I have used here are going into the actual garment...but not the one that was used for the slightly lighter, soft and bubbly section just under the bullion stitches towards the top right.  That yarn turned out to be a bit too soft,  and it felt as though it might be likely to snag, and also the colour looked lighter and had a much more pinkish tone when viewed in daylight (although at night it definitely seemed to go well enough with all of the other oranges)...but I wasn't intending to keep the vest for evening wear only, so unfortunately that particular yarn will just have to bide its time in the stash for a little longer.

Most of the yarns used are 100% cotton, and some are handpainted, but I have also included a little bit of angora in a fabulously bright mix of oranges with hot pink undertones, plus an interesting synthetic, tape-like one that I bought in San Francisco about 10 years ago (that's the dark bit on the left) and another bright orange rayon mixture that I found in the marketplace at the CGOA conference in Reno a few months ago.

This scrumble is nearly all crochet, but I am adding a bit more knitting to most of the others that I am creating for the vest.  Doing that, along with keeping things fairly 'open' by using lots of lacy crochet stitches, will help keep the weight down a bit, and make it more suitable for our summertime in our sub-tropical climate.   It will be one I know I will wear a lot, but it is also being done to help illustrate another book, which I hope to get done in the not too distant future.

Once again my new year's resolution will be to update the blog a little bit more often.  I hope that everyone reading here has managed to fit some creative fibrearts into their lives this year, and fingers crossed that we will all have time for even more in 2013.

and as a PS, and because I guess it's OK for me to do bit of self-advertising here...since I have almost run out of reprints of 2 of my books, and because I have decided that I won't be printing hard copies of either of them again, then I'm going to add that we have just made 'Freeform: serendipitous design techniques for knitting & crochet' and 'never too many Handbags' available as e-books...both can now be purchased in PDF form through http://www.knotjustknitting.com/freeform-tutorials   ;-)

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Scrumble #47


here is a scrumble for March

...so much for my original idea of weekly scrumbles!

Maybe I will get another done before April, but at least I am aiming for a minimum of one a month this year...and since this is the 5th for 2012, I have already done way better than last year ;-)

I always seem to have a problem photographing oranges and reds, so in the picture the centre of the scrumble has lost a little bit of definition. The piece started with a small knitted section behind the ruffle (just above and right of centre), and then I crocheted on the raggy-looking orange bit (Indian recycled silk). Much richer in real life than in the photo.

I then continued outwards with little areas of both knitting and crochet, working multi-coloured stripes for most of the knitting and back post stitches and slip stitches for a lot of the crochet, with the aim of avoiding too much of a stripey effect. The tw0 little crochet flowers were made separately and attached onto the surface.

Lots of stash yarns, both new and very old, were used in the making of this scrumble; they include wool, silk, cotton, rayon and a few blends, plus a bit of man-made stuff for added sparkle (which probably doesn't show up much in the little thumbnail, but should be apparent if you click for the larger photo)

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Scrumble #46


My latest scrumble has been made from quite a variety of different yarns, nearly all of which were man-made!...but there is a little wool, mohair and a soy/wool mix in there as well, to add a bit of stability between the synthetic fibres.

This one has plenty sparkle and soft texture in purples, pinks and greens....worked mostly as crochet circles (or part circles), plus a few sections of knitting, some done in stripes.

I crocheted from the wrong side and around the posts of the stitches when working the outside rounds of the double circles. This was because I wanted the centre rounds to stand out on the surface.

A lot of the crocheting was intentionally done from the wrong side of the patch, so that the fluffy and textured yarns could 'bloom' naturally towards the front of the piece.

As usual, the entire scrumble was made without any sewing. Each area was either worked directly onto an edge, or (in the case of the full circles and the spiral), were slip-stitched into place once the motif was finished (using a crochet hook and working the slip stitches from the wrong side). A few areas that were looking a little plain or flat were further embellished with crochet slip stitches on the surface, to complete the piece.

I just noticed that the number of followers here had passed the 500 mark - hope you are all getting the chance to experiment too, and having fun with your crochet and knitting!! Let me know what you have been up to ;-)

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Scrumble #45


Here is my latest scrumble, finished last night.

It started with the strip of crochet bullions in the centre, which I had just unearthed at the bottom of a suitcase I was repacking. I didn't have any other grey yarn on hand, so decided to create a purple scrumble around them....but in the light of day I'm not altogether sure if that was a particularly good idea!

This morning the grey doesn't tone with the purple nearly as well as it did in the night light...so I may need to add a few other grey bits to the surface sometime, when I come across some more yarn in that tone.

The bullions had originally been worked in a straight line, using a smooth cotton yarn. To give them a better 'flow' I intentionally skipped stitches in some places, and added extras in other spots, as I worked the other yarns along the sides. There are a few knitted sections done moss (seed) stitch using a bamboo yarn, but the rest is all crochet, mainly in wools and mohairs, plus a few little areas in silk and angora. To add dimension to the piece some of the crochet stitches were worked 'around the post', and slip stitches were occasionally worked on the surface, too, for the same reason.

The scrumble was made in one piece, by picking up and joining on the stitches each time a new yarn was added (i.e. no sewing was involved). To give it a 'completed' look I finished off with a couple of rounds of short crochet stitches, being careful to increase or decrease wherever it was needed so that the piece remained flat.

As I think I may have mentioned on the blog before, bordering a piece like this is something that I rarely do for scrumbles that are going to become part of a garment, but I don't mind doing it to 'frame' a smaller artwork.

This is because putting a 'fence' around a lot of different fibres is often asking for trouble further down the track...even if the stitch count appears to be perfect when the piece is newly completed, if it contains a lot of different yarns you could find that some are likely to relax and expand a bit whilst others might shrink and contract slightly (even just in normal wear, let alone when being laundered), and this could cause the fabric of the garment to distort and go out of shape.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Scrumble # 44

This scrumble is perhaps not quite as unusual as the last one, but still it was interesting to make.

I used lots of leftovers in pinks, oranges and greens, and most of these bits were totally used up in the process, as I only had a tiny amount of each of the yarns when I started it.

In real life, even though I have used both orange and pink yarns, the colours tone in much better than they appear to do in the photograph. For some reason the orange area on the right appears to have more yellow in the picture, and therefore looks more harsh than it actually is!

There are some natural fibres (wool, mohair, cotton and mulberry silk), some recycled Indian yarns (these were rayon, not silk), plus some synthetic chenille, a glittery eyelash and 2 types of man-made ribbon.

Some of the yarns were fairly new, but others had probably been in my stash for at least 20 years; a couple were the leftover bits from yarns I had received in an online group exchange a few years back.

There are 4 small areas of knitting, and the rest is crocheted. Even though both of the mohairs were boucl├ęs, the chenille was softly textured, the eyelash and recycled silks were 'fringy', the wools were either slubby or hand dyed, and I used the smoother mercerised cottons for fancy bullions stitches, the scrumble seemed to still be lacking something until I added a few areas of surface crochet at the end, to give it a little more life.

As usual, I welcome your comments.