Inspired handmade crochet, unique items and gifts to buy

our blog - January 2021

How I Made a Crocheted Wedding Bouquet

I've just completed a crocheted wedding bouquet. An exciting first for me and I have to say it was fabulous creating it for one of my most supportive customers! I had been working closely with the bride-to-be deciding upon a pattern for a wedding shawl, when it came to me that perhaps a wedding bouquet might be a lovely idea as it can be kept afterwards.

First of all I needed to work out how the flowers would be supported and mounted, and finding some youtube videos on bouquets made of brooches, decided upon using a polystyrene sphere mounted on a wooden handle. The most difficult part of this exercise was covering the handle in ribbon!  

I then created an array of flowers and leaves trialling the use of pearl headed and sparkly pins to both be a feature of the flower, and also a means by which to firmly attach them to the sphere. (Obviously, having used pins this means this style of bouquet would be for an adult only). Crochet flower and leaf patterns can be found in books and online, although  if you are like me you will find that you can very quickly design your own once you understand the principles. I used Scheepjes River and Stonewashed cotton rich yarns for their artistic top quality finish and also Drops Muskat which has a matte look and Drops Paris which has a mercerised sheen as a contrast. 

Once I had created an array, these were carefully pinned on to the sphere in the manner of a floral bouquet. Plenty of different leaves, including a long trailing fern style leaf I designed to fill spaces added to the overall effect.  I made sure to include teeny forget me nots, pansy shapes, daisies and asters, and found that different hook sizes, and thickness of yarns enabled me to make different sizes for more visual impact.  My customer has kindly written to say it's "The most magical and beautiful wedding bouquet I have ever seen", and I'm thrilled to say that her intention is to keep it forever as a reminder of her happy day.

Like me you may find this instructables page on a crochet bouquet helpful too 

Posted in Crochet by yayretro on 28/01/2021

Painterly Crocheted Blankets & Throws - Art in Yarn!

Painterly Crochet

Having been a fine art painter for a considerable part of my career, I've recently been exploring the idea of making crocheted blankets and throws with a more painterly artistic feel. Rather than follow a pattern, I am using a simple granny square and then the yarns as if they were paints, and letting my feelings and sense of colour inform the work.

My painted artworks were always based on abstraction, with the idea of conveying a deep emotion or mood, and I must confess they were rather sombre and serious pieces!  Now, however with the wonder of crochet I find I want to convey happy, joyous feelings, so use bright colours and colour changing yarns.

 I am still drawn to the idea of a division of space, as you find in American Abstraction by painters such as Robert Ryman and Mark Rothko (two of my favourites). You can see how I've used a division of space on this throw which has an offset square of a different colour entirely to the main blanket.

Careful use of colour changing yarns can bring to mind large artworks,  and this can really enhance a room. I named this throw 'Monet's Garden' and allowed the randomness of the yarn and the simple granny floral motif to completely take over.

Using Yarn to create a Watercolour effect

On these customer ordered blankets made big enough to use on a sofa or a single bed, I used an array of stitches to give the impression of swirling washes of paint. By randomly altering the stitch heights and carefully selecting the colours that appeared side by side for the most visual impact, this gives the feel of a large abstract paintings, rather than crocheted blankets.

By dividing up the space, and a mix of two strands of yarn a textural Colour Field painting effect can be created - as seen in the Super King Size Crochet Blanket below.  I will be exploring more painterly blankets and throws throughout the year. DO get in touch if you would be interested in pre-ordering. In the meantime, here is a link to all of the blankets I have previously made.

Posted in Crochet by yayretro on 28/01/2021

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