Snooker Loopy? Oh yes….

As a common ‘ice-breaker’ at the start of management training courses, participants are asked to reveal something about themselves to the group that would not be immediately obvious. It is a while since I have had to undergo such rigours, but my most common answer was that I was a mega Star-Trek fan. This usually prompted discussion about which series was the best (Voyager, obviously, followed closely by Next Generation).

If I was feeling particularly chirpy and strong, however, I would offer up another guilty secret – I am a huge armchair snooker fan. Now, I realise that this is not everyone’s cup of tea. My step-father, for example, has been known to refer to it as ‘International Watching Paint Dry’ lol!

One of the reasons I am such a fan is because it is the perfect TV viewing to accompany any knitting or crochet activity. I can sit happily needling or hooking away, listing to the dulcet tones of the commentators, and looking up as and when something interesting appears to be happening. It is particularly pleasing, therefore, when the World Snooker Championships come round each Spring. With just over two whole weeks of intensive snooker action, it’s great for making progress with projects and this year is no exception.

In recent times, most of my crafting time has been devoted to my ‘spring blossom throw’, which I love. This is the latest position – a nice spurt of growth since the last post when this was mentioned:

 

So I thought it was about time I gave some crochet love to my ‘Mystical Lanterns’ project. I first introduced this to the blog a little while ago. It’s been great to really start moving forward with this one. As I said previously, I love the method of selecting colours (in essence, picking the next ball of yarn at random, regardless of the consequences). Overall, this is generating some fabulous colour combinations. But I must confess to the odd ‘fix’ every now and again. Here’s an example.

This motif just needed its final row – you can see the two colour choices I had available:

Either colour would have finished off the motif very nicely. But I felt like being a bit more jazzy. So I briefly rebelled against the colour-picking-system (oh, the naughtiness!) and…

went for the gold! Aren’t I just the little devil.

As you can see, I have nearly finished 4 sets of motifs, which I already adore. Only another 11 sets to go. I hope you agree, it’s going to be gorgeous!!

 

And since I am in such a jolly mood, let me finish with this – an oldie but goodie!! ๐Ÿ™‚

Spring happiness in spite of all the snow

I very much appreciated all the generous comments and likes in response to my last post about my current knitting and crochet projects, so much so that I feel emboldened to share one further bundle of joy.

The weather here in Edinburgh, as for many other places, has continued to be very cold and grey and yes the snow even came back this weekend. How delighted I was, then, to be working with all these beautiful spring colours on the development of a new crochet motif.

 

I recently came across this picture on Flickr and knew instantly that the antidote to the current weathery blues would be to create my own version.

Apple blossom blanket

 

I hunted around a bit for some suitable yarn and happened upon this suggested yarn pack from The HomeMakery. I added to it an additional green, pink and cream from the same yarn range to give me the 8 shades pictured above. All that remained was to decide upon a pattern.

I love the hexagons in the original photo but I wanted my throw to be a bit more blossomy. I also wanted to create a sense of flowers and petals without the design being too lacy. For a throw I wanted a relatively dense fabric for plenty of snuggly warmth.

As you can see from this next picture, I had a lot of fun working up various samples. Sitting with all these lovely colours in front of me while also looking out at the blizzards made my spirits soar!

I gradually homed in on a motif which gave me all the elements I was looking for. One interesting conundrum was the extent to which I could avoid make the inner lines too straight. This next photo shows you the, albeit subtle, difference between the straight-edged dark pink row (on the right) and the slightly more wavy dark pink edge on the left. There is not much in it, I accept, but I felt that the softer lines in the motif on the left were preferable.

 

I also wanted to develop a means of joining the motifs as I went along in a way which avoided too much openwork in the motifs’ outer stitch rounds. In these next photos, you can see that I managed to achieve this aim. It also gives you an idea of how the finished throw will look.

 

Obviously, there is a still a long way to go. But with these delicious spring colours to work with, it will be no hardship at all.

There are signs of spring outside – I was really pleased to see these daffodils among some residual snow patches while I was out walking earlier today. And I am even more delighted to have plenty of spring blossoms inside too! ๐Ÿ™‚