I’ve just been scrabbling around in my stash looking for a particular ball of yarn. I have a plan for it and I’d like to try a little sample. While I was sorting through the six large boxes of stash that lurk under the stairs, I knocked the top of a hatbox (containing drum carded fibre all ready for another project) and stuffed in with the fibre was a large bag of dried lavender flowers. I’d been looking for that before Christmas. I bought it during the summer and knew I’d put it in with my stash (it may as well be deterring moths while being stored) but then I couldn’t figure out where in my stash I’d popped it (I thought it was with some fibre stashed under the bed).
While writing this I’ve realised that I’ve got quite a lot of stash (under the stairs, under the bed, fleece in the garage and utility room) and quite a bit of craft equipment dotted around the house (in my “study” equipment is contributing to the problem of accessing my book shelves and I have two spinning wheels in the bedroom). It’s rather lovely to be surrounded by the means and the supplies to make things. All I need to add is inspiration and time!
A little while ago I said my bamboo shawl was finally finished and off the loom. It took another week or two, but I eventually tackled trimming the fringe (I can thoroughly recommend checked table-cloths for this activity, with a towel on the item to hold it still while cutting).
I then asked my Mum to be my photographer (thank you Mum!) while we stood outside in the surprisingly mild January sunshine. As you can see in the first picture, the start and the end of the shawl are at a very different gauge. However, I’ll never wear it like this. As you can see in the second picture, the difference doesn’t matter.
I really like the way that the fabric drapes. It’s lovely and soft. However, the bamboo is very slippery and for a future project I would like to combine it with wool for a more stable fabric.
I know that you are now in shock – three finished objects all in a row (ok, I know one wasn’t really mine)! Don’t worry, normal service will be resumed with only WIPs and UFOs for quite a while!
I’m lucky with the spinning; if I finish a yarn I don’t want to use, then I know plenty of people the yarn can be passed onto.
When I finished my BFL I knew that I didn’t want to make anything for me with it. The yarn was lovely and everyone else loved the colour. So I gave it my mum. In no time at all she’d knitted a mini-wingspan with it:
She cast-on half the number of stitches specified in the pattern and worked until the yarn had almost run out. She then worked an i-cord cast-off on the neck-edge of the resulting shawlette.
We love the way the pattern shows off the subtle colour variations in the yarn.
If you look at the categories for this blog and find “Projects – Completed” there are, at the time of writing this, exactly 7 (and one of those is an Almost Finished Object, and some others are skeins of yarn). So an actual finished garment or accessory is a rare thing.
Even more rare is that this took me only 10 days to make! Most projects take me years.
And the firsts? It’s something for me to wear (I’m wearing it now in my study while I type this)! I have made things for me to wear in the past – but they predate this blog by years and are also very rare. The other first is that I’m modelling it:
Now you’re recovered from the shock, here’s a close up of the Tunisian crochet:
I really love the way the basic Tunisian stitch makes the colours of the variegated yarn work. It allows the colours to mesh together in the same way that weaving does, and therefore makes them more complex.
The stitch itself is quite strange. If you look closely at the fabric you’ll find that it’s a knitted fabric with a chain stitch wrapped around each knit stitch. The bars you can see in the picture above are one leg of the knit stitch, the other leg is wrapped within the chain stitch. (So the chain goes both through and round the knit stitch).
On the back of the fabric (not shown here) you’ll see the classic bumps of reverse stocking stitch, but between each pair of rows there bumps from the back of the chain.
Working Tunisian crochet requires a hook that is much larger than you would normally use for knitting or crochet. To work this chunky yarn I used a 10mm hook – even though the ball band recommended a 6mm needle.
I enjoyed working on this. I enjoyed the speed and simplicity of the project. I also love the feel of the finished fabric. I think there will be more Tunisian crochet projects in the future.