Fantasy books and Crochet Art

 

 

Just love this cover art for The Black Prism by Brent Weeks
Nice Cover Art!!!

As I have said before I have geeky tastes, when I have the time I love to read Fantasy novels. I like that they are a platform for strong female characters and as I love magic in all its forms this is an ideal way for me relax. Now I have an idea for a book, I have read about weaving spiders planning futures – The Black Jewels Trilogy by Anne Bishop, fabulous author!  Then the use of magic as colour like in The Black Prism by Brent Weeks; another great author. Another story I like on paintings being magic and controlling destiny, The Barbed Coil by J.V. Jones, a book I can always re read! How about magic controlled by knitting or crochet? A fun idea or what, crochet is about crafting an item from nothing, turning yarn into something of worth, maybe could apply that in a story on magic.  Maybe I will join the writing side of Wattpad and have a go.

Pinterest Boards for everything you can think of and more besides

Something else I am getting ‘slightly’ addicted to is Pinterest; I have so many boards now and follow so many I cannot have a cup of coffee without having a look. My husband says I spend too much time on it but I blame him – he bought me the smart phone for my birthday!  Shouldn’t complain as he took out a loan to get it me, wasn’t that nice. Mind you the fact I was sending him links telling him this is what a loan application looks like might have influenced him! Could not let him get away with saying he couldn’t afford a smart phone for me now could I?

Staying with theme of fantasy, I have just made this dragon for my friend’s son and it was done in yellow, oranges and green, very bright but he loved it – mind you he is only 4 years old! I found this and some very interesting fantasy patterns on this blog

Pattern for a dragon from Ravelry.com. Very popular with my friends young children
A crochet dragon

Crocheting a Popular and Useful Handicraft

I love crocheting – it is quick and simply but decorative. I’ve discovered that by using different fabrics and yarns, I can create borders and edgings for starters and these are great for enhancing boring items of clothing, Tops that have shrunk and become too short suddenly look interesting with with a crocheted border which gives it additional length too. For gifts I’ve made bedspreads,cushions and other home furnishings and delighted family and friends with these. Something else I’ve discovered is that the type of yarn you opt to use offers as much scope as the things you can make from it. Coarse wool for instance, can be made into wall hangings or rugs. The finest yarns I’ve discovered are great for making delicate table mats or even fascinating looking curtains.

crochet

I’m always wondering what bag to carry around and recently found a super, casual looking shoulder bag. Great for carrying all those things a girl insists she cannot be without. So easy, the entire bag can be made in a couple of evenings and you’ll want to take it with you everywhere.

Begin with Granny Squares

The easiest way to learn to crochet is to begin by making small,manageable shapes like granny squares. Practice a square first and make your first crochet project colourful and economical, and pretty soon you’ll be onto making

The Beauty of Thread Crochet

Mercerized cotton crochet threads of different...
Mercerized cotton crochet threads of different sizes. From left to right: 3, 10, 20. The larger the number, the smaller the diameter. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

For years, I used yarn for my crochet projects. That is, until I got tired of using acrylic yarns and found that natural fibre yarns were a little too much for my budget. You see, I want to eventually sell crocheted accessories, and want my products to feel quite different from what a crochet lover might normally make for themselves. while pondering my dilemma, I remembered how much I love lace. Instead of focusing on yarns, I’m considering thread crochet.

I’m working with size 10 crochet thread, for now, but will also experiment with larger thread, gauges 3 and 5. With a little luck, and a lot of patience, I can create lacy hats, cafe curtains and fingerless gloves, to  start. I also have my eye on a beautiful Irish crochet pin cushion pattern. all I need is a satiny fabric, ground walnut shells and a little sand for the small pin sharpener I’ll attach after completing the pin cushion’s main body. If all goes well, the pin cushion can be my featured, premium piece. The beauty of using thread in my crochet projects? I can delay seeking a loan because I can find crochet thread in spools of 2,194m! I can crochet a hat without adding more yarn.

Hand made lace is a rare commodity, so table cloths and bedspreads, also made with thread instead of yarn, will probably have to wait. Sales will have to be pretty brisk to justify making such large projects, but I may advertise larger projects as special orders. Making one table cloth and one bedspread to use as examples is more reasonable than making 10, then hoping someone will buy 9 of them!

Crochet and New Year Resolutions

 

Bulky yarn is less expensive than finer yarns.
Image courtesy of vitasamb2001 at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Well, we’re in the New Year with resolutions being made, then broken at break-neck speed. Friends have already regretted committing themselves to weeks of denial  and hard labor while more attainable goals, that missed becoming resolutions, languish. I’d point and laugh, but I’ve had my share of resolution failures and I understand these well intended hopes and dreams.

Without falling into the traditional resolution trap, my crochet circle of 5 habitual hookers has decided on a group effort. Since we have discussed volunteer opportunities, we’ll make items for local homeless shelters, youth hostels, and other organizations helping society’s less fortunate. This idea also helps us keep our yarn stashes under control while giving our finished items someplace to go! Since bulky yarns and quick projects seem trendy, finding suitable yarns should be easier than if we’d decided to crochet lace tablecloths or lady’s sweaters. Since hats and blankets are fairly straight forward, each contributor is limited only by their skill level or willingness to learn new stitches. Granny square lovers can add as many items as those preferring  intricate crochet stitches and complex techniques. The only rule is that each item must block cold air.

Of all resolutions, this agreement touches my heart the most. Helping others using our own crafting skills beats starvation dieting any day! If you have considered using your crochet skills to help others, the Knitting & Crochet Guild is a great place to look for the perfect opportunity.

 

Christmas Shopping

During my childhood I couldn’t figure out why we gave gifts at Christmas. I understood the religious reasons behind the holiday, but I could not understand why adults were so upset by it. Since I felt that adults could do anything they wanted to, I thought they could also avoid the tasks they absolutely hated. After all, they could simply decide they were not going to shop like that, anymore. Of course, that was before the internet existed.

Chirstmas is much easier.

 

I feel very lucky, now. I can sit on my sofa, or in the bathtub, and shop on my laptop or smart phone. I can shop several shops at the same time, with tabbed browsers. Best of all, I can check my bank balance, daily, to avoid having to borrow too much from savings. If I need to dip into my credit,  I can control that burden, too.

Best of all, I have found shops that I didn’t know existed, and I can send exotic fruits or clothing made with exotic fabrics to my friends, then listen for their squeals of delight when they open their gifts on webcam!

Shopping for the holidays is so much easier, now. Come to think of it, so is being and adult!

Never too Young for Good Scares

I have geeky tastes. At my age, most women worry about their health, hair and the fine lines and wrinkles we must hide. Instead of walking that beaten path, I want to join Cosplay girls to create great super heroine costumes or argue the fine points of long range transporting. Yes these are the conversations of younger people, but I hate feeling left out!

Weeping Angels are stone, when you see them.

Dr. Who is my favourite show. However, one episode rekindled a childhood fear that I thought I had put to rest. My fear of statues is back, in full force. I hide it well, but I the hairs on the back of my neck stand straight up If I am alone and near a statue. If you are a Who fan, you can guess which monster I’m talking about. The Weeping Angels make museum visits chilling and, after heavy meals, they haunt my dreams. I will never be so old that a good story, with a great monster, won’t find a sweet spot, then dance up and down my spine.

So peaceful, but too scary!

My husband thought I was kidding, he missed the first Weeping Angels episode, but he changed his mind after seeing it. The wonderful result has been his new willingness to explore science fiction and fantasy with me. Now, I’ll record an episode and we’ll watch it together, dissecting the story telling techniques, analyzing the make up, wondering about the special effects, then indulging in the kind of far flung speculation that probably led to tablets and cell phones. We haven’t talked this much in years!

So, We are probably the oldest Whovians on our block, but our new togetherness is great. I am so glad the hubby has joined in. I need his reassuring company around the statues.

 

Coping with Crochet

Are sheep more expensive?

Crocheting keeps my fingers limber and my relatives believing I cast secret spells turning thread or yarn into the scarves and blankets of winter solstice and baby showers. My book shelves hold stacks of crochet magazines and pattern packs. When time allows, I sit with  2 or 3 of them, choosing the patterns I’d love to execute.

I want to make garments from Doris Chan’s designs, especially those based on large doilies. The radiating spikes and clusters won’t need as much yarn as most knitted garments, but to get the drape and softness I want, I’ll need to buy yarns made with natural fibres. Alpaca and cashmere are a little exotic, so I can understand why a skein or two might cost as much as  100 skeins of acrylic yarn. However, I cannot understand why cotton, a natural but common fibre, is almost as expensive.  I guess  having good taste and thrifty, but soft, yarn are inverse functions!

black doily dark turquoise doily

As a modern woman, accustomed to microwave cooking and other tools of near instant gratification, I haven’t the patience, skill or equipment for dying. I considered making only those patterns calling for lighter weight yarns. Sock yarn stretches, a little, making it a great substitute for thread when making headbands, fingerless gloves and pin cushion covers. However, yarn substitutions are tricky, if not impossible when converting a pattern from crochet thread to sock weight yarn.

Instead of circumventing the expense, I’ll need to accept that making garments, showcasing my skills, will be an investment. It won’t be the burden of sending a child to a 4 year college, but it might be close. I’m considering setting up a special savings account, just for yarn and other crochet needs, much like the old Christmas Club savings accounts my parents and grandparents used during the last century.

Sometimes, taking a step backward makes more sense than plunging ahead. If I can’t buy yarn at last century’s prices, I’ll buy it using last century’s savings practices.