Thursday, 21 February 2013

More videos for You Tube

Once again I have been making videos of my crochet items and putting the videos on Facebook and You Tube. Thank you to everyone who has sent me nice messages. They are very much appreciated as I have been going through a period of self doubt recently which is why I haven't been blogging. I don't know whether any of you have the feelings that your work isn't good enough or worse why do other people sell their items and I don't sell mine. I started thinking that my work wasn't what anyone wanted and so that diminished my love of crochet and I went into a bit of a lull. I finished up only crocheting things that people asked me to make. My creativity went on a downwards spire.

I am hoping that making these videos will help me to regain my crocheting mojo (or crojo as I call it) and get me back on the track of modifying patterns and even designing my own.

The Abakhan challenge has hit the buffers. I had the wrong wool for the wrong pattern stitch. I couldn't unpick it so I have restarted with new wool and this time chosen a simpler stitch so that I can feel with my fingers where to put the hook instead of having to hold it up to try to find the right stitch. Wish me luck. Hopefully photos tomorrow when I get past the first couple of inches.

This is the first video clip that I made this morning. The sun was shining but it was freezing cold.
This is the second video clip that I made of the shawls and shoulder capelets.
The third video cut itself short as per usual. I must learn to time how long this camera gives me before it cuts off. Most of these sweaters have been made using vintage patterns although there is a hoodie using one of the free Double Stitch twins patterns from Red Heart.
This is the last video showing the last few things that I have to show today. I still have lots of hats, cowls and fingerless gloves and other bits and pieces but not sure how I will video those. I will think about that tonight and maybe have a solution tomorrow.

Blogger keeps freezing on me today so I will call it a day for now.

Happy crocheting.

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Crochet Baby Clothes Videos

After the fiasco of trying to video with my new camera I reverted back to my old faithful camera. The new camera bleached out all of the colour and when I managed to upload it to You Tube the sound was buzzing and the video had stripes of pink green and yellow across it. The downside of reverting to my old camera means that each video is very short. That is what there are 4 videos and one of them is cut short.

The videos are not of any new things. They are the stock that are left from my craft fair days. Since I have decided to stop doing craft fairs I now have surplus stock to sell. I hope that you enjoy looking at my crochet, my tatty back garden and Buster who gets in the act on some of the video

These are in the wrong order but I am a novice at posting videos on my blog so please forgive me.

You will have seen some of the brighter things before as they are part of my Abakhan challenge for a few months ago.

I was hoping to resume vlogging again but if I do then they will have to be very short videos as my old camera only records for about 7 minutes before it cuts off.

Today I am off for  routine blood tests for my cholesterol. Buster isn't too well at the moment. He has a bit of a bladder infection which is resulting in numerous accidents so my steam cleaner is working overtime this week.

I am working on a new challenge from Abakhan. I am following the shape of a ready made sweater using different yarn. This yarn is in the reduced section of Abakhan and I am rapidly discovering not the ideal yarn to crochet with. It is Sirdar reflections and has lots of long whiskery fibres. Last night I crocheted away for a few inches  only to discover later that I had crocheted into a whisker instead of the main thread several rows back which resulted in a large hole appearing. Trying to undo a few rows is proving to be very time consuming as the fibres are sticking together and the knots have to be unpicked with a needle. I had to leave it last night as I was on the point of taking scissors to it which wouldn't have achieved anything. I will try again later today.Photos will follow once I have recovered my patience and got back to the offending row. I am sure that you have all had moments like this. had I been crocheting in 'normal' yarn this frustration would never have happened. I have been crocheting slowly and supposedly checking every row so I don't know how this hole happened. I feel like everything that I crocheted last night has to be unravelled.

Anyway winge over. I need my breakfast or at least a coffee but I can't have one until I have my bloods taken. Happy crocheting and I will catch up with you soon,

Monday, 18 February 2013

Dolls Clothes

I promised my Great Grand Daughters that I would make them some clothes for their dolls. They chose knitting patterns. I managed to make a knitted pram suit for Charlotte who is 16" tall but I must confess that it took me a whole week to knit this

It is actually a darker shade of peach than is showing on the photo. I then decided to change to crochet and made this little set up in a couple of evenings.

This is much more my style. Here is a closer view of the crochet.

My other Great Gran Daughter's doll is Sally and she s 27" tall so I have bought her a few things from EBay but am bracing myself for knitting the outfit that she has chosen for Sally.

I am taking part in the Abakhan Challenge again this month and this yarn arrived

I am crocheting with it and it is a little tricky as the long threads get in the way and I find that I am crocheting the threads instead of the main yarn and keep having to unpick it (not an easy task) as I have missed the thread and got a hole.

I am attempting to make a crochet version of this sweater for my friend Sarah. I haven't got very far as you can see. I have pinned the bit that I have done to the original sweater to check the width. The sweater is made up in a very unusual way so I have had to make newspaper templates of the style so that I can crochet to them. This is how I started crocheting back in the 60's. I used to make paper patterns and crochet to them instead of following a bought pattern. I am going around full circle. Hopefully I will have more to show you once this is finished.

I have been tidying up and today it is the turn of the baby items that I made for craft fairs. I decided to unpack the bags and see just what I have left.

Obviously a lot more than I thought and I still have another bag to unpack with ladies shawls in it. I decided to try out my new camera as a video camera so pardon me with my first attempt. It is buzzing for some reason and I sound as though I have a lisp. The video is all blurry but hopefully you can still see some of the things that I am trying to show. Because I was holding the camera things went out of focus and blurred. I think that I need to invest in a little tripod or stand to hold the camera steady before I make another video.

The video link refuses to load for some reason. I am trying again through You Tube. I will add it on to this post later if I do manage to upload it. The fist video that uploaded to You Tube had taken all of the colouyr out of the video so I have started again.

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Simply Elegant Sweater

I am not being big headed here. The blog title is actually the given name of the sweater that I have just finished crocheting. If you would like the pattern then it is available from JKD or Jenny King Designs and it is called Simply Elegant Sweater. I believe that it is also for sale through Annies. I bought mine through a Ravelry link.

The main part of this sweater is worked side to side. Basically two rectangles and the front is sewn together at the shoulders with a twist in it. The side seams are sewn together and the sleeves are crocheted from the top of the sleeve to the wrist.

There are lots of ways of draping the front. It's just a matter of adjusting it until you find the look that you want. The sweater looks grey on these photos but it is actually a mink shade of brown. I made it with Coas which is a yarn that I bought from Ice yarns. It has 30% wool and is labelled as fine. I changed the hook as the pattern called for a 10mm hook and this yarn resembled a dishcloth on such a large hook. I went down to a 7mm hook as I crochet loosely but if I made it gain then I would use an 8mm hook to give the sweater a bit more drape. The pattern also calls for the pattern stitch to be worked in the front loop only which again came out to  loose looking in this yarn so I crocheted in plain half trebles (half dc if you are in the US) I think that it has turned out well and can see myself making a few more of these.

This is Buster alerting me to the fact that the Postman is about to bring parcels to our house. This shows him pre bark. He knows the delivery Postman well enough but still has to bark at him.

The doll pattern has some really lovely patterns in it. As I mentioned before I am on Great Granny Jan dolls clothes duty at the request of  my Great Grand daughters I will have to jiggle these patterns though as one doll is 24" tall and these patterns are for an 18" doll.

I am getting over optimistic with the other book. I haven't managed to get my tension right with Tunisian crochet and her I am buying a book of Tunisian cables. There is nothing like biting more off that I can chew. I always throw myself in the deep end of anything new that I am learning.

Yes I know. I promised no more yarn buying unless necessary but these were such a bargain on EBay that my subconscious brain made my fingers hit the bid button.

These books came the other day but as I was bidding on another 3 editions I didn't want to jinx it by anyone else seeing that I was interested and getting interested too. Mean of me I know but I wanted to keep the bidding price down. The shawl book in particular has some lovely patterns in it. You know me and my retro patterns. I like them so much better than many of the new ones.

Someone on Facebook today posted the link to the pattern Granny Takes a Trip.This took me back a few years when I made this jacket for my friend from the very same pattern but in shades of purples, pinks, reds and black. I loved the shades so much that I promised myself that when I had got over the shock of sewing all those tail ends in that I would make it for myself but with narrower sleeves. These tend to get hooked up on everything and dust everything that you pass by. Maybe it's time to organise my stash of odd balls and make another one, this time for me.

I have made this shawl in many different colourways. Some with a white edging, some with black. Some in vibrant shades and some in pastels. This shawl has been commented on more than  most. I made it for myself many years ago but it is still in perfect condition and lovely and warm. I used different shades of muted blues along with beige's, browns and cream. there are different weights  of wool in there and different textures. I think that is what makes the shawl unusual. It's all muted shades but some of them are shaded yarns with subtle colour changes. I don't h ave a pattern. It's just granny squares at a different angle to make the point at the bottom edge. The top edge is finished off with a row of half granny squares to give a level top edge.

I need to start the dolls clothes tonight. I have been putting it off as I much prefer to make larger things which is why you rarely see any toys on my pages. I will be OK once I actually start making them.

Have a lovely evening and Happy Crocheting.

Monday, 4 February 2013

Shhh - I've Been Knitting

As most of you know I crochet 90% of the time. The main reason is that I knit with one needle under my arm and so the weight of any knitting pulls on my neck and makes it ache. I have tried knitting free or on circular needles but 50 something years of knitting one way means that I just can't knit any other way.

I bought some super thick yarn from one of Ice Yarn sales just recently and thought that I would make another of these jackets as I have worn the last one that I made to a shred.

Thee pattern comes from an old Phildar book probably dating from sometime in the 80's. I have made every one of these tops as I find them so useful as a house jacket as the sleeves don't get in the way when I am doing chores. This time I have made the one that is shown but one button. I have added buttons all the way down mine. 3 of the designs are knitted but the one on the right is crochet. I have my eye  on making that again sometime soon.

My version has come out a lot longer as the wool is much thicker than the original Phildar Tweedy was. We used to stock Phildar in our shop and I have to say that Phildar tweedy was one of our best sellers. The Ice yarn that I have used is very thick and took 16 x 50 grams to make this jacket but it is so lovely, soft  and warm.

I have also finally finished the hoodie for my Great Nephew JP. I got this Patons yarn for 99p a ball from Kemp's Clearance sale. Although I am not crazy about the colours as one of the shades in the ball looks 'dirty' in my opinion. The yarn itself is lovely to work with and I bought a few more colours when it was on sale. It is now blocking as you can see as the jacket looked too small for JP because of the rib stitch. I am going to make him some more woollies as he coming up later this month for his Grandad's birthday. Unless I crochet the others I will be knitting them on the machine. I have had enough knitting for a while.

I still have to crochet two sleeves on Sarah's draped front sweater so that will be my next thing to finish. I also have to crochet a cotton Peter Pan collar and then start the doll's clothes that my Great Granddaughters ordered.

Buster is bored today. Despite about 5 minutes of glorious sunshine this morning the weather has turned out dull and rainy as per usual for Manchester. According to the weather reports we are in for some more snow later today or tomorrow. I feel like a fraud mentioning snow when I know that so many or my regular readers have snow up to their eyebrows whereas the UK grinds to a halt if more than an inch falls.

Today I had great plans to do some more tidying up but so far I haven't hardly done anything. I put the paper recycling bin out ready for the early morning emptying and the wind blew it over and the papers inside had to be rescued by a passing neighbour. I was in danger of becoming a litter lout as the wind caught the papers and whizzed them in the air. Our bin men collect any time from 7am - 9am so I have to put them out the day before otherwise I can miss them. My bin is overflowing as I have been sorting out some storage papers and packaging that I put into my garage over Christmas.

Happy crocheting everyone and thanks so much for the lovely messages that you have sent to me. Thanks for the advice Roger I will look into that and use your ideas to safeguard me for next time.

Saturday, 2 February 2013

I Am Still Around

Sorry that I haven't been around for a long time. I just simply fell out with blogging. My camera wouldn't let me make a video of more that a few minutes so I just temporarily gave up blogging.Videos were so much easier than typing and posting photos.

I got a new camera for Christmas but I am still coming to grips with how to work that so that I can make videos with this newer one as it has a longer memory for making videos.

I have still been crocheting. Not quite as much as I did in the past but I am still working at it. I think that maybe I suffer from the S.A.D syndrome as around my Birthday (November) all around Christmas and most of January I feel generally out of sorts and everything is just too much trouble.

Anyway I will do a bit of a pictorial catch up with you on a little of what I have made since I last blogged.

This is what I am working on at the moment. It is a pattern from Jenny King Designs and has still to get the sleeves crocheted. I couldn't get my tension on the hook recommended as it was a huge hook and I tend to crochet a bit loose anyway. I used  a 7mm hook instead of the recommended 10mm and although it does look tighter than the pattern picture does it still look large to me. Considering that loose crochet does tend to grow a little when washed.

Over Christmas I made a cardigan for my friend Sarah's mother and she liked it so much that I was asked to make another. This is made in King Cole Riot.The photo of the first cardigan is on Facebook as the original photo is not now on my PC anymore since the update.

I may have mentioned in my blog previously that I was doing a class teaching crochet at the local Ice Cream parlour and cafe. Unfortunately the cafe had to close but I did manage to buy some of his storage display units from the shop. My crochet friend Sue came down to help me and we reorganised the patio door end of my dining room into a workroom with knitting machines set up on either side. This has made a big difference to the room. I still have to tidy up the rest of the room as next week we are going to start organising the stash room as I have got a unit to go into there. I am hoping that this organisation will encourage me back into my machine knitting again,

I did manage to use the machine and make this sweater for my younger niece in Patons cotton that I bought on sale from Kemps. I had to hand knit the ribs as my chunky machine wanted adjusting as it was ribbing too slackly and I didn't have the time to sort it out until Christmas was over. Hopefully I have now solved the problem but I won't know for sure until I use it again,

As I wasn't machine knitting with the many cones that I had in stash I decided to use 4 strands of different coloured cones together and crocheted myself two very chunky sweaters for the cold weather. This one has 2 strands of different shades of purple, an aubergine and a gold worked together. I made a similar sweater in shades of red, maroon, orange and bright pink but when my PC died and had to go to the repair shop I have lost a lot of information and recent photos that I hadn't backed up. A lot of my more recent crochet otems are on my Facebook page UrbanGypsyCrochet which I update regularly as I do my personal Facebook page. You will find out my name from the UrbanGypsyCrochet page. I don't want to put any links on here and attract spammers. Since I stopped blogging my life and photos have been well documented on there.

I am still coming to terms with what I lost when my PC had it's mishap. A lot of the photos seem to be lost forever which is sad but I suppose that it is just one of those things in life sent to try me, The repair man also took off a lot of things like the printer, mic and web cam so I have to try to get them reinstalled. I have the recovery discs for the mic and camera but my niece gave me the printer so she is going to look to see if she still has the original disc that came with it so that I can reinstall that. If not I will have to get back in touch with my PC guy and see if her can help me recover the files that I need to make the printer work. I have also lost access to one of my e mail accounts. Fortunately it's the least used one but it is linked to Amazon so unless I can find the account again I will have to change the info over to another mail account.

I have made lots of other things which I can't post the  photos on here as they are now missing. I am sorry now that I hadn't updated my Ravelry for a long time either as now I can't catch up with my projects on that unless I save photos from my Facebook.

I hope to start posting on my blog again. Perhaps not as regularly as before but that was one of my New Year resolutions.

I hope that you are all keeping well. Happy Crocheting.