Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Ripples on the water...

I've gone all hook happy here. I'm in a bit of a ripple rhapsody you might say. Crochet crazy? Definitely!!

I can't remember if I ever said much here, but I know I mentioned it (even if briefly), because I got two generous offers of crochet tuition from some fabulous stamping friends (thanks so much Patrice and Jocelyn...even if I haven't managed to take either of you up on your kind offer...yet ;-).

Before we set off sailing on Lucey Blue in May I had been inspired by Lucy of Attic24 to teach myself how to crochet (her excitement is highly contagious), so that I could make beautifully brilliant blankies like hers. So I got myself a 'how-to' book of crochet stitches, watched several online tutorials, got some el-cheapo yarn from Spotlight, mucked around with swatches of this, that and another, and kept my eye out for the perfect yarn. I even made myself a snazzy little purse to hold my crochet hooks, scissors, stitch counters and needle in.

One thing I have discovered of this fabulous hooky past-time, is that it is easily portable! Not like stamping and cardmaking at all! With stamping, I like to have ALL my things on hand, and if I've left a particular embellishment, ribbon or cardstock at home (and it is the thing I think I need to finish the card just so) then that is likely to annoy me a lot....a real lot! And we've already discussed here that I would have needed a second boat tied to the back of Lucey Blue to store all of my craft goodies on this voyage (a cruise liner may have been more appropriate in actual fact).

Anyhoo, not so with crochet. I have a  little pink and white tote bag that was a freebie during one of Clinique's promotions (I keep those bag for all sorts of things). This holds all my goodies in it. One of each colour of yarn I am using, my crochet purse, and my project (at least while it is small).

While we were away I started out small, and have made a scarf out of vertical stripes of treble stitch, using a nice cotton yarn (Moda Vera Sombre) that I picked up in Spotlight...

I did feel a bit silly crocheting on a boat, in the middle of a hot Whitsunday spring/ actually felt like summer up there, not like Sydney...which currently feels like winter!!!!! But it was fun, and it was a good way to become well and truly familiar with treble stitch.

And now, I have started my gorgeous Ripply Blanket, and I am in love. I am using Lucy's awesome Neat Ripple Pattern...which you can check out for yourself here. It is such a great tutorial, even a complete novice like me can follow it.

I went up to a local yarn store last week and bought some yarn. The details are:
Name: Sublime (by Sirdar)
Type: Baby Cashmere Merino Silk dk
Composition: 75% extra fine merino, 20% silk, 5% cashmere
  0160 Rubadub
  0051 Button
  0002 Cuddle
  0245 Caterpillar
  0244 Ragdoll
  0243 Little Miss Plum
Weight/Length per ball: 50g/116m

Thankfully I only bought 2 balls of each of the above six colours at first, but then found it for almost $10/per ball cheaper online (ZOWIE CAVEY THAT'S A BIG SAVING) have ordered the rest online. I'll let you know how that purchase goes after it arrives. The little swatch above was made to test the pattern, and compare colours. I may make the actual blanket with a slightly different pattern of 2 rows/1 rows interlocking (like Lucy is currently using in another ripple blanket), but I'll experiment and see how it goes. I know my colours are not as varied and brilliant as Lucy's, but I love these colours, and I love distinct patterns.

And this is the start of my blanket...

I started with a chain of 283 stitches ([20 x 14] + 3). The chain, and the first row of treble stitches were hard work. Lots of counting and squinting and checking....but in an amazing Christmas miracle, I got my numbers right the first time, and didn't have to undo any of it! Now it seems to be plain sailing (no pun intended), and I am on my way. I am using a 4.0 mm Clover Bamboo hook...I really like the way the Bamboo feels.

It doesn't look like much all curled up here, but when you straighten it out, it looks big. I estimate I'll need about 35-40 balls to make a good size blanket (thank goodness for the discounted yarn eh?).
Ok....enough jabber from me. Back to my crochet while the kids are happily playing with Lego.
Have a great day.


Paula said...

Oh Sam, your blankie is beautiful (well, will be when you are finished!). How cool that you have taught yourself to crochet. It is a passion of mine too, and I have just finished a Ripple blanket too, for a baby. They are so easy to do and look so lovely when finished. I hope you and your family have had a wondeful Christmas on your boat. So cool to see your post ♥

Tracey said...

Looks like you've made a great start Sam - I love those colours together :-) I have a friend who's craft of choice is knitting and she always has her little project bag with her. When waiting for kids at school pick-up or in the waiting room for an appointment, she always has something constructive to do. Perhaps I should take it up too. x

Ange Kelly said...

I was very excited to see this post on crocheting... I have been a crochet/knitter for many years and have just started doing crochet (alot - for me it's as addictive as paper crafting LOL!. I am currently doing 3 rugs for my sister in the UK, and they are large. I will post some pictures soon ... cheers Ange

Karen said...

OMG!!!! I sooooo wanna learn to crochet but I seem to have way too many fingers or something! lol I am LOVIN' your blankie! All I can say is WOW!!

Luv Karen

Patrice said...

Gorgeous Sam! Love the colours you have chosen too. Can't wait to see it irl. Go you!


Jocelyn aka JoBear2 said...

Hey Sam,

I have been madly knitting and crocheting whilst I have been at the hospital and sitting around waiting for appointments. It is so nice to feel like you are achieving something when you are waiting....waiting.... plus I can pick it up and put it down easily and not get muddled. I too love the Attic 24 blog - gosh, I just LOVE her eye for colour - it really makes my heart sing.

Was wondering if you could possibly email me the name of the online store that you buy your yarn from? I have been checking out a few different ones and the prices vary quite a lot.

Jocelyn XO

Anonymous said...


I'm just wondering if you could give me any pointers with how to joining the vertical stripes of treble crochet? I am trying to do this myself to make a scarf after my treble crochet practice run got very long and I decided I'd like to try and make something with it.

My book only tells me how to do horizontal stripes thought so I'm no sure how to join on the next stripe. Any pointers would be greatly appreciated, thanks :)

I love the wavy stripes by the way :)