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DIY Crochet Garments

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Hi everyone,

Those of you who follow me will know that I have a somewhat…different…taste when it comes to clothing. I don’t go out of my way to dress outrageously (which is not what I consider to be my style) but I do have a habit of not always following the crowd.

My wardrobe is absolutely stuffed with knitwear, and heaven help me when it gets to summer – I’m going to have to go on a serious shopping  spree!

I was in a lecture the other day with guest speaker Teresa Collenette who was wearing the most AMAZING granny square jumper. She was discussing how charities like Oxfam had turned the traditional ‘Granny Square’ into a money making machine, and utilised the idea of craft to pursue activism.

It’s what sparked the idea for my recent essay that examined the correlation between the popularity of knitwear in conjunction with the popularity of feminism.

It’s safe to say that this lecture really inspired me to say the least.

 

 

As a result of this, I couldn’t resist trying to make something similar myself.

Alongside the blue free-form crochet corset that I shared with you in the previous post, it’s been my other Work in Progress.

Being able to sit and mindlessly crochet granny squares whilst watching Poldark really helps me to relax. (Aidan Turner may also play a part in this…but obviously it’s mostly the crochet!)

 

 

Once I’d built up a fair stash of granny squares, I started pinning them on to my mannequin, and trying to figure out how I could turn them (successfully) into a garment.

Like the corset, this piece is still a WIP, but I’m really pleased with how it’s coming along.

 

 

Working with granny squares reminds me of working with pixels. Building up all of those different squares to be able to create a finished shape that moulds to the body and doesn’t make you just like you’re wearing a blanket that you’ve picked up from a charity shop! – Just a side note – there’s nothing wrong with charity shop blankets, but it wasn’t the look I was going for.

I love having the ability to make my own garments. There’s nothing quite as rewarding as when somebody asks you where you got something and you’re able to say “I made it myself actually.”

It gives me a real buzz, especially when I’ve created it free-hand without a pattern, it makes the garments I create one of a kind, which is something that really appeals to me. Except when I forget to write the pattern down thinking I’ll remember it, and then wake up the next day and have to try and decrypt the stitches I’ve used – learn from my mistakes!

Until next time

Bex

xxx

This post is my submission to the Deramores Craft Blog Competition 2015. Deramores is the UK’s number one online retailer of knitting and crochet supplies. Visit http://www.deramores.com for more details.

Ally Pally

Well my friends, it’s that time of year again!

The time when all those with this little addiction that we’re mostly in denial about, summed up in 2 little words knitting and stitching, come together and rejoice in all things crafty!!!

Indeed, the Knitting & Stitching show descended upon Alexandra Palace this week, and I was lucky enough to go up on Friday for a browse. I was very restrained I must admit!

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As you can see, the amount of colour and texture on display was magnificent. It was just a feast for the eyes!

Although my purse had to have a sit down and recover half way through!

The most exciting part of my day was when I was wandering past Ruth & Belinda’s stall and came across this little guy!

Isn’t he cute??

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He appears to be part of this little campaign…

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https://www.facebook.com/#!/TheOriginalKnittingTent?fref=ts

I’m not quite sure what I’m going to be doing with this little guy yet…But don’t worry I’ll be keeping you all posted!

I’m thinking a little competition maybe?

So that was my week! I’m so sorry I haven’t been around for a couple of weeks, but in all honesty, I’ve had very little to blog about, I hope I’ve made up for it this week – you’re the judges! (Can you tell I’m watching strictly?)

Oh and on another note, clear the roads! Granny Willis is now mobile on 4 wheels…I passed my driving test on Thursday!! 😀

Right, until next week

Take care and keep knitting
Granny Willis xx

Château de Chenonceau

Good afternoon faithful followers and new stumbled-uponers! (I might have just made that word up?)

How are we all?
I hate the post-holiday feeling you get once you’ve unpacked, sorted the post and checked your emails, suddenly you seem to come crashing rather unceremoniously back to reality!

And boy did I wince when I stood on the scales this morning! But the less said about that the better I think…

I thought I’d share some photos and a little bit more info about where I actually was on holiday, and the Château that was spitting distance from the camp site.

So, let me take you on a tour of Château de Chenoceau!

Firstly, once you’ve bought your tickets and got through the gift shop, you are greeted by this magnificent walkway of trees…

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It’s a beautiful sight to behold, and a great relief to be able to meander in the shade for a while before you’re thrown once again mid-30 degree heat!

When you reach the end of the walkway, you’re greeted by the breath-taking sight that is the front of the chateau…

Oh, who is that stunning, rather red-faced beauty?!

Oh, who is that stunning, rather red-faced beauty?!

Now you are provided with the option to either take a stroll around the gardens, or continue to the château.

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We decided upon the latter, as we have already experienced exploring the gardens during one of the evening walks.

Inside the Château was equally as beautiful as the outside. Obviously being a royal residence, as well as being run and protected by influential historical women has it benefits!

My favourite part of the Château is the grand gallery, which extends across the entire river.

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During World War I, the gallery was used as a hospital ward, and during World War II it was used as a means of escaping from the Nazi occupied zone which engulfed one side of the river Cher, to the ‘free’ zone on the opposite bank.

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The windows in particular, along with the views, I found particularly inspiring. The curve of the outer-window draws the eye to the centre, focusing all of your attention on the breath taking views that surround you. It subtly, doesn’t give you an option. Maybe this was the architect’s way of saying, ‘Oi, look what you’re surrounded by!’, but in a more French manner…

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Once we’d explored the chateau, the lure of the ice cream vendor we’d spotted at the front gate was far too strong to resist, so we began the walk back. I can’t speak for the rest, but personally I was rather ashamed of the fact we’d been sitting next to such magnificence for 3 summers, but hadn’t actually made the effort to visit!

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So, what do you think? – No, not of me! The Château!

Has anyone else been to Chenonceau? What did you think?

It’s definitely worth a visit if you’re in the area!

Oh, and before I forget, to keep this my knitting/crochet theme going, my blanket’s growing!

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I think I’m about halfway there? What do you say?

It’s certainly keeping me busy, and rather quiet, much to the approval of my parents!

I feel like a princess, slaving away in the loft, crocheting hexagons. I jest, it’s really good fun actually.

Until next week
Granny Willis x

Tales of the River Bank…

Once again I’m talking to you from the banks of the river Cher in the Loire…

I think I’m in heaven!

It’s sunny, but not too hot and breezy enough that most biting creatures are leaving me alone, but not so much that I can’t work outside.

I’m one of these people that seem to get affected more than others when it comes to mosquito bites. For example, one decided to have a nibble on my knee the other evening – I even saw the little *insert expletive* bite me – and within an hour, I had developed a 3rd knee…ouch!

As for knitting and crochet antics this week – in between getting eaten alive – I’ve finished the baby blanket that I showed you the beginnings of last week.

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It’s just another ripple blanket like I’ve showed you before, but it’s a really therapeutic pattern. Meaning that I can quite easily sit and crochet without having to pay too much attention to it, whilst I’m being nosey at who’s walking along the river bank!

So once I’d finished crocheting, and sewn my ends in – the only down side to this pattern! I decided to move onto my next project…

Technically this has been hanging around for quite a while, as followers will know. I was taking lots of inspiration for this blanket from national trust properties I visited. But it got put on the back-burner whilst I worked on smaller things.

Anyone guess what it is?
No?

Well I’ll give you a clue…I’ve hexagone mad again?

Therefore, without further ado…

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Ta-dah!

What do you think?

This was the first stage where I positioned myself on a picnic blanket on the river bank, and proceeded to do a lot of hexagon positioning, and re positioning, and then moving them back to the combination that I originally had them! – What a palaver! Oh, and as you can see, Della (one of my Yorkies) decided that she quite liked the look of it too!

Then, I moved onto sewing them together…

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Very attractive I know…but I thought I’d spare you any more photos of my knee deep in a river this week.

Once I’d sewn the hexagons I’d already made together (Sewing in the ends as I went!)

I decided to crack on – and what do you think now?!

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7 rows of hexagons later and it’s still growing…

I’m planning on making it square, no I haven’t gone mad, “A square made out of hexagons!?” I hear you cry, but it’s just going to be APPROXIMATELY square, which for those of you who know me personally, and know what a complete control freak I am, may come as a surprise!

So I know what I’m going to be doing for the rest of the week! It’s so addictive!

Quite amusingly, our camping table is just the perfect width to fit it on when I’m working, so I think my parents are beginning to remember why they moved me into the loft a few months ago.

To say I’m taking over the place with wool is a slight understatement…

But anyways, I’d better wrap things up for this week, French bread and runny, stinky French cheese is calling my name!

Until next week
(Although we’re travelling home on the Sunday so it may be Monday that you hear from me again)
Take care
Granny Willis x