Tuesday, June 30, 2020

The Next Set

I've started work on the next set of curtains, four of them. I plan to dye these, so they shouldn't take so very long! It's difficult to measure 2 metres/yards for one curtain. The fabric is 150 cm wide, so I folded the width to meet the length and then just had to measure 50 cm from there.

Saturday, June 27, 2020

The Curtain Goes Up

It's not a silk purse from a sow's ear, but I think the crochet panels do uplift the unbleached calico! The curtains came out pretty much as I visualised, so that's good. I thought a single row of crochet motifs would look a bit feeble on such long curtains. I contemplated working the two rows of motifs together, but that still wouldn't be very wide. Putting the two with a space between gives the illusion of a wider decoration.

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Room For One More

I made a start on the curtains yesterday, but the day disappeared in doing the laundry, visiting the hairdresser, things like that. I was determined to get on with it today! I made one curtain and then cut 30 cm off the bottom, ready to put in the inset. Hmm....

The crochet insert is a little bit short. There's room for another motif on either end. Back to the crochet hook I go, another 8 motifs to work.  That's fine, I'd rather that than they were too long and I had to cut them, that would be a waste of time.

Monday, June 22, 2020

Ready For The Next Stage

I've completed the crochet panels for my curtains. I blocked them in the same way I block tatting - pulled them into shape, covered with a damp cloth and then ironed them. Each piece is 150 cm/60 inches, long. I'll probably start on the sewing tomorrow, as it's late afternoon now.

Saturday, June 20, 2020


I took some time off crocheting to make Piccalilli, using vegetables from Jack's garden - cauliflower, broccoli, carrots and onions, plus a bit of cucumber from the supermarket. I prepared the vegetables yesterday, salted them and left them until this morning. The recipe comes from River Cottage and can be found here.   I'm not a great one for measuring, but I duly weighed the vegetables so as to follow the recipe carefully and then there wasn't enough sauce! I had to make a second batch of sauce. So if you use the recipe, be generous with the sauce amounts.

Thursday, June 18, 2020

Crocheting, Crocheting

I'm making progress on the inserts for curtains. I need four sections of 21 motifs and have done two-and-a-half. Link to the pattern on the previous post.

It's odd how different the colour looks on this picture compared to the previous one. Background? Cloudy day today?

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

The Next Set

I'm working on the next set of curtains. I did consider tatting an insert, but it would just take too long. I considered knitted lace too, but crochet is definitely faster. I looked at a lot of crocheted motifs, mainly on Pinterest, even tried a few out. I needed one that was quick and simple. Eventually I decided on this one.  I tried it out using a 1 mm hook, those two squares at the top,  but decided to go with the 2 mm hook. There are only two curtains needed for this room, but even so it'll take a while.

Monday, June 15, 2020

Coming Up Roses

At last I've finished sewing the dining room curtains, attached the roses frieze and hung them up. Curtains are quite difficult to photograph because the light is necessarily behind them. I've found the best way is to take the picture at night, with a flash on.

There are still 12 metres/yards of fabric to sew!

Thursday, June 11, 2020


 I bought 18 metres/yards of fabric yesterday to make the curtains for the next three rooms. That should keep me occupied for a while!

Wednesday, June 10, 2020

Testing My Designing Limits

A friend suggested I make a bracelet more representative of the Zimbabwe flag than my stylized version. Mmm, not easy in beaded crochet that is worked in the round and spirals. But I said I'd give it a go. I pondered, worked out mentally what to do. Then I doodled on graph paper:

I crocheted a small sample:

The take away from that was that I needed to adjust the stripes so that the black stripe came at the tip of the triangle. Back to the drawing board.

I then made a prototype bracelet, making changes as I went. On the first repeat, the symbol was too close to the end, so I moved it on the second. I also tried using blue to separate the green stripes, to represent sky. That wasn't a good idea, it's not definite enough, so I went back to black for the third repeat:

So step by step came to the final bracelet:

Of course it's still pretty stylized, with a few yellow and red beads to represent the symbol. But it does have a triangle and straight stripes!

Monday, June 8, 2020

More Rope

I've been doing some more crocheting rope together. I used double knitting cotton yarn to join the rope, but the principle is the same as I used here. It was quite difficult to work. The bigger the mat became, the harder it was to keep flat. At one stage I was working with a board on my lap, flattening out each section after I worked it. Mmm, no. When I put the whole mat on a flat surface, it turned out to be far from flat! I had to pull rope back through the crochet stitches to get it to flatten out. The result looks fine, but I think it will be too difficult for most members of the 'creative therapy' group. 

Friday, June 5, 2020

A Pair At Last

At last I have a pair of Peppermintoes socks. I unraveled the top of the first sock. I did threaten to cut it off, but of course there's no need to be wasteful:

I like the pale pink cotton, it's a shame there wasn't enough of it for a pair of socks. I reused the grey cotton when I reknitted the top to match the other sock.

 I'm happy to have met the challenge I set myself, though it took longer than I'd visualised!

Wednesday, June 3, 2020

The Second Sock

I've finished the second sock, hooray. The pattern is called Peppermintoes and can be found here.  Mine is a truncated version because I used cotton instead of wool, which lacks elasticity. The sock looks better on that off, I think:

Now I have to go back to the first sock, unravel or cut off the top and rework it to look like this one. 

Monday, June 1, 2020

Plan B Didn't Work

I decided to make the mitred square socks shorter than the pattern to compensate for using cotton rather than wool. I did the triangles to fill in the top of the sock, as per the pattern. Hmm. I couldn't get the sock on over my heel. I started the second sock while I contemplated my options. Eventually I decided to do a square in ribbing and then fold it in to make a triangle. That way, there wouldn't be a cast off edge at the top.
 The good news is, I can get the sock on. The bad news? It looks lumpy and horrible. It won't do. So I'm working on the second sock again!
I'm thinking of leaving the triangles open, so the top of the sock would form two points. Perhaps do a narrow edging around it. I also have to decide whether to redo the top of the first sock in the dark pink. Now that I've decided to keep the socks short, there should be enough dark pink. I'd like to finish and get on with something else.  A pair of socks usually takes me a few days; this pair feels as though it's going on and on!