Monday, 25 January 2010

Romanian lace crochet

We've had a few posts about workshops and other such excitement so now it's back to crochet techniques. This is one that I certainly recognise but didn't realise it's name or that it is very much a skill strongly linked to a country, Romania. Lace making is obviously a completely different technique to crochet but this does incorporate the making of crochet cord. The cord forms the basis for the design of the piece being made and then needleweaving is used to fill the remaining space. It's a skill that is mainly 20th century in origin and is hugely popular in Romania.
It's used for decorative work as in this baby's cap and as an embellishment to linen as you can see in the pictures.
The Lacis museum gives a clear rundown on it's history and a slide show of examples and, if you're so minded, you could try your hand at producing your own Romanian cord with Sunshine Creations' own pocket guide with video.
If you're an upholsterer as well you'll soon recognise the cords from your trimming work and now you can make your own!! I think the needleweaving may be for another day!

Tuesday, 19 January 2010

Granny squares - crochet workshops in London

Following on from the last post about the wonders of granny squares, Claire and I at makedomend are in the final stages of planning our crochet granny square workshop at the delightful establishment, Tea Rooms in Stoke Newington, North London. Our new venture is certainly beginning to hum with activity and we've added some new venues to our portfolio. The Gallery Cafe in Bethnal Green, Bake-a-Boo in West Hampstead, High Tea in Highgate and of course, the Tea Rooms. Our first event is for the Grannies on Thursday 18 February so if you're in London and are interested then pop over to the makedomend blog and sign up.I was teaching a lovely bunch of crocheters over the weekend and they were rather proud (with justification, I might add) with their latest project of making a beautiful motif rug for a friend. However, the problem of how to join all the motifs together was very much at the top of their agenda. I must say that I wouldn't hesitate to point them in the direction of moonstitches. Alexandra is European but lives and works and creates in Japan. She is an observer of life through her lens and takes the most beautiful pictures of her creations and daily life which she posts on Flikr and on her blog. Some time ago I came across her hexagon tutorial and saved it up for just such an occasion as this. Now you can perfect your joining technique as well as enjoy her lovely clear pictures. Each stage is given close attention so if you're feeling unsure you can just wait at each stage until you're really up to speed.
Well, must get back to planning world domination by crochet hook. Hope to see some of you in Stoke Newington. Until later...

Saturday, 2 January 2010

It might be snowing...

Happy New Year and decade to all the crochet world and beyond. I've had a lovely break and am ready and raring to go creatively. I've had a bit of time to travel across the crochet net in between sledding on our first snow of the season. It's been so lovely to see the crisp white fields and my twenty-something kids still get a kick out of flying down the bumpy slopes, get covered in snow and still come out smiling! Pictures later of that and my latest project with pattern. A neckerchief in Habu tumugi silk which needs a teeny hook but can be adapted up to a sport or even worsted weight.
Now back to the reason I posted today. Nice new sites to visit with free patterns and some old friends with free patterns too. All of them are on a theme which fits nicely with a mood for brighter, lighter days. Flowers and lots of them.

Rose Hip is a site I have come across before but for some reason I haven't flagged it up to you. It's a pure joy with lovely cheerful colours and some inspiration and ideas. She is firm fan of flowers (ooo, lots of ffffff!!!) in her use of prints and in the lovely spring-like colours she chooses. The pattern she lets us use is one that alot of my crochet students would be delighted to dip into. I get asked alot for a pattern like this, an Irish crochet flower granny. If you get really carried away she continues the Irish theme with some pretty motifs to sprinkle on yourself and your home!!
The last of my flower theme is from an old friend of chaincreative, Roman Sock (do you remember the meerkats?) and her Mollie flowers which are as easy as ice cream and pretty as a picture. Have a lovely time and look forward to spring.