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window on the forest

May 4, 2013

I love looking at fabrics and yarns and often spend hours floating around the net looking at what’s out there.  Apart from the simple pleasure of window shopping, you never know when inspiration will strike.  I have recently discovered this shop, which has a great selection of fabrics, including Blend Fabrics.

Looking through the Blend fabrics Celtic Fusion Fabrics had in stock one evening a few weeks ago, I fell in love with Sarah Watts’ Timber & Leaf collection.  The memory of it seemed to stick in my head until I woke up the next morning because I had an undeniable urge to make a quilt with it, and I was pretty sure how I wanted it to look.  I rushed to turn on the computer, work out the amounts of fabric I needed for my idea and put in the order, quick sticks!

The fabric bundle arrived shortly afterwards and I’m planning to start the quilt next week.  My idea is essentially to create a window in the centre of the quilt through which the forest creatures of the fabric can be seen.  It looks brilliant in my head – I now just have to make it happen!  Gulp…

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May 2, 2013

When I was designing the coffee sleeve cups that are for sale in the shop, I wanted a stitch pattern that would give me a nice thick finish to properly protect the fingers and insulate the cup, but also that would create a diagonal line pattern around the cup, which I thought would look nice.  I decided to try out a new crochet stitch (to me that is), the ‘ripple’ stitch to see how that would look as it seemed to have some substance to it, although it didn’t look diagonal.  However, when you join it at the chain and work it in the round, it is totally diagonal – yay!

I love the look of this ripple stitch when done in the round – it is really feminine and there is something quite flower like about it.  So, I wanted to do something else with the stitch, and thinking back to how I scaled up another cup sleeve design recently to a cowl (the floppy cowl in the shop), I thought I would try a cowl and see how it looked.

There is something a bit magical about being a bit of a low tech crocheter – I don’t really know enough to know how things I dream up will look when I’ve made them up!  That can mean that you waste a lot of time making something you’ve dreamt up that ends up looking like a dog’s dinner, but it can equally mean that you end up with something that is surprisingly better than you thought it would be – which is nice!

Anyway, I got the latter result with this ripple stitch cowl.  When I’d finished it, I liked the look and feel of the stitches and was pleased with how the yarn worked for it (Rowan’s Kid Classic), but initially, it didn’t look that inspiring – really just a pretty tube.  However, when I put it on the mannequin, I was really chuffed – it drapes beautifully and is structured enough to be shaped in different ways for different looks.

Kind of makes up for all the times my great ideas have turned out to be dog’s dinners!