In our disposable world, where nothing is made to last and our rubbish is becoming an environmental problem, people are slowly trying to head in the other direction again, looking for products that can be used again and again to stop increasing the landfill. I am by no means a bare bones, no rubbish person, but I do believe that our world is our responsibility and we need to take care of it as much as we can, so I am always looking out for ways to be more recyclable. I have heard a lot of hype regarding crocheted dishcloths. As we go through a number of sponges a year in the daily washing up duties, I decided to make a dishcloth that can be used and washed in the washing machine and used again. I found a lovely pattern on The Crochet Crowd’s page http://thecrochetcrowd.com/crochet-scalloped-dishcloth-tutorial/. I like this pattern because it has some texture, and, let’s be honest, sometimes those dished need some extra scrubbing to remove baked on food. To start with, I was loathe to use something so pretty for such a dirty job, but I love it! It cleans my dishes really well and, when needed, a quick wash in the machine and it is good to go again! As many people have said, once you start using these cloths, you won’t ever use anything else again, and they are right!!
I have wanted to try spaghetti yarn for a long time -I just haven’t had the right project to try it on. Finally, this year, my chance has come! A girlfriend of mine has recently had a new baby and requested one made for her nursery. I looked up patterns to find one that wasn’t too “holey”, so it was safe to be walking on and around with a baby and came across this pattern from Wink https://crafts.tutsplus.com/tutorials/crochet-a-gorgeous-mandala-floor-rug–craft-6032. It was really fun to try a new kind of yarn! I enlarged the pattern quite a lot in order to make it as big as she had asked, but I think it turned out well. It took around 5 1kg balls of yarn, so it weighs a tonne! It’s a little wrinkled at the moment, but when it’s on carpet, it sits flatter, and in time, I’m sure it will flatten out as it is used! I’m very happy with the finished result and my friend was thirlled. I did find it a bit difficult to crochet with because of it’s thickness – it tended to give me a fairly sore wrist, so I had to take frequent breaks but it hasn’t put me off of trying to make another one for my own children’s bedroom!
Well, my luck this week was a nasty head cold, so my post is somewhat late and now out of date! Anyways, I’m feeling better and that’s the main thing. As I’m sure you are all aware, Friday just gone was St. Patrick’s Day. This is not something that I particularly celebrate, but even over here in Australia, it’s a fairly big thing and you can’t help but notice it’s happening! So, for St. Patrick’s Day, I decided to dip my hand back into my Tunisian CAL http://www.petalstopicots.com/2017/03/tunisian-crochet-monthly-dishcloth-crochet-along-march/. *Please note: – I have made one more attempt at Tunisian Crochet since my Valentine’s Day post, so this one is actually my third try! I am so much happier with how this turned out! I didn’t worry about which way I wound my yarn around the hook and just did it like I have for the last twenty years and it is so much more even. I’m still not thrilled with the finish on the right hand side but that is something to be worked on in the next one! This has certainly helped to shore up my never be defeated attitude. As I crochet left handed, I didn’t follow the authors instructions on how to do Tunisian crochet on the first cloth. I did a google search and followed some more specific left handed tutorials. Although I achieved the result I was after, it seemed a very awkward way to execute the stitches. This time, as I had already had a go and had a fair idea of what it should look like etc., I was able to go back to the author’s instructions on how to do Tunisian crochet and they made a lot more sense and were a lot easier to follow and so much less awkward to execute! I do believe I am progressing well on this journey and look forward to seeing what is improved upon in my next dishcloth!
This is a comparison shot of my first Tunisian dishcloth and the one I have just completed. I did use a different sized hook, which is why there is a discrepancy between the actual finished sizes but the difference in the neatness of the stitches and even in the definition of the reverse stitches on the motifs is quite noticeable!
And, in an offside, I did manage to drag myself out over the weekend and visit the Garden of Unearthly Delights as part of the Adelaide Fringe Festival. It was certainly amazing with all the colour and lights and so many different little shows that were on offer. We dropped in to a magic show with our children, which we thoroughly enjoyed. And, as is suitable, I wore my newly made festival worthy necklace!
I’m baring my crochet soul a little today. Normally, when sharing my projects, I want them to look beautiful, well finished and professional. Today’s doesn’t. I have been wanting to learn Tunisian Crochet for awhile. It’s something that I’ve seen pop up from time to time and thought I should have a go at, but until now I haven’t. Then, in January when I discovered the Petals to Picot Tunisian Dishcloth CAL http://www.petalstopicots.com/2016/12/tunisian-dishcloth-crochet-along/, I knew my decision had been made! Not only are they going to be small, manageable projects, but I have a bunch of cotton I bought on special that would be perfect. So, in January, I ordered some Tunisian Crochet hooks, which are the most interesting looking things – a knitting needle with a crochet hook on the end instead of a point! I haven’t had a chance to try the January cloth yet (I’ve had a few custom orders that required my attention) but, seeing as how this week was Valentine’s, I thought I’d stick with the theme and skip to February’s cloth. It was a bit harder than I was expecting really. I can knit as well as crochet, so I thought that would put me in good stead. It did help, there’s no doubt about that, but it did still take a number of tries before I felt that I really understood the process. It was also complicated by discovering that I wrap my yarn around the hook “backwards” when I crochet, so I was trying to change my way of doing that and it actually makes a difference in how the stitches look! I didn’t get along too well with the tunisian hook either. It’s going to take some time to get used to the length of it and how to balance it in my hand. I usually use clover amour hooks, which slide through the yarn so smoothly and my new hooks aren’t quite as smooth. I ended up using a normal metal hook with a hair tie wrapped around the end to stop the stitches falling off! However, it was a great learning experience. The cloth looks like it has a heart on it and, now that it’s blocked, it sits quite flat and nicely. I am not giving up – I will conquer this new technique and get it looking nicer – it’s just going to take more practise. And thankfully, this CAL has 12 different cloths to practise with! So, the moral of the story it – don’t give up. Try new things and keep trying until you get the concept. It will be worth it in the end!