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Tuesday, 13 March 2012

crochet, crochet and more crochet

maybe it's just me, but sometimes I get bitten by a "textile bug" and can't stop it anymore. right now it's crochet. ok, not without reason. I am supposed to do a demonstration about tunisian crochet at our groups' meeting at the end of march. and I wanted to do a sample or two. which I did. only - now I can't stop trying out as many patterns as I have popping into my head. and to make it worse - I have two new books about it as well:) I'd say the crochetmania will wane eventually - but right now I have hooks and yarn balls everywhere.

this was the first square. fine cotton, which I doubled up. this is one of the basic stitches, tunisian knit stitch, which looks very much like stockinette in knitting, but feels quite different. it makes a dense and quite thick fabric.
the second square is in the basic tunisian stitch, the most distinctive one, I think. it's very easy to do and the fabric isn't quite as thick as the one in knit stitch. eventually I'll put the two of them together (and make another one) to be used as a potholder. when you just start with a normal row of chain stitches, tunisian crochet rolls up quite strongly. to avoid that you can pick up the stitches from the chain into the single loop on the back - a bit like a provisional cast-on in knitting. it rolls a bit less - and makes the first row look much neater!

 I also made two samples from wool, a singles yarn (commercial) that I dyed ages ago. the red on the left is brazilwood, the brown done with tree lichen (the yarn still smells nice, after years in storage!). the right is a natural dye as well - but because I dyed so many different yellows over the years - it could be anything, I have no idea (and yes, that happens, when I think I'll remember - but of course I won't after some time:))
the samples will show not only the different stitches, but also the effect on the knitting. some are very elastic, some are stiff as a board, others look like knitting and so on... because they are so uneven, I will rip them out again after the demonstration. but working them made me remember that I had planned to crochet a bag in the wavy pattern from bottom left! in blues and sea greens....

early this morning I woke up with the thought that I should to tunisian in a circular project. I figured that short rows should work out well - and they did. the circle is finished now - but I think it turned out a bit too large for a mug rug, even if  I felt it! anyway, doing it is very easy and a bigger one  might make a nice pillow - though maybe not in a circus colour combination like this!

I am also crocheting flowers out of leftover plant dyed yarns. another group, who meets at the museum is collecting textile flowers for a project (not sure exactly what!) and they asked our group if some of us would like to participate. I found a very easy pattern to do and started to crochet. I'll do a flower here and there, when I have a tea break etc. - though the irish rose pattern takes a bit longer than that (the red one at the bottom). when I dug out some of the balls, I came across the fine singles yarn that I inherited from an elderly knitter, who lives on the Isle of Arran in Scotland. I'd love to get my hands on some more of those cones, but I don't know which company made it.  it's soft but strong enough to dye and knit nicely. about sock yarn strength and undyed natural white.... this was the very first yarn I tried to dye with natural colours - and I became hooked on all the lovely colours I was able to dye!

to prove that it's not all crochet in this house - here is a chocolate cake that was a firm favourite during my childhood years. it's extremely rich, because the chocolate mix is made from coconut fat, cocoa, sugar and egg (and a bit of rum!). but it does taste nice, as long as taken in small doses:) I hadn't made it before since I moved over here, but when I came home from a trip to Germany, I brought the right fat for it (not available here, the coconut palm oil over here is not purified and still tastes of coconut) and also the biscuits needed, but I think after making two in the last 4 weeks - it should be enough for some time to come!
of course I also finished the quilt and some other things, but I'll leave that for the next entry.... and over here spring has truly started - so gardening jobs are on the to-do list as well! the garden is full of daffodils - and all the berberis shrubs are clad in orange right now!

8 comments:

Corina said...

nice crochet, and funny to see your cake, it looks like something my mother maked. We called it 'Arretje cake', she uses crumbled biscuits and dairy butter.

Nina said...

I've not seen Tunisia crochet before. It's really interesting seeing all the different stitches. The cake looks quite delicious.

Renate said...

Hi Bettina,
Mensch, der Kuchen erinnert mich an meine Kindheit. Wir nannten ihn "Kalte Schnauze" oder "Kalter Hund". Total lecker! Hab ich seit Jahren nicht mehr gegessen.
Tunesisch häkeln kenne ich auch, aber mir ist nur die Variante deines 2. Quadrats bekannt. Wie macht man das, dass es aussieht wie gestrickt? Gibts da Anleitungen? Auch das Farbgarn ist toll.
LG
Renate

Leigh said...

I love the way the colors worked out in the swatches, especially the knitted one. Very appealing. The cake looks appealing too. It resembles a cake my grandmother used to make which now, of course, I need to make. :)

Anonymous said...

hallo hallo

jaja, auch meine grossmutter hat diesen kuchen gemacht :-) und wir nannten ihn 'kalter hund'. kriege ja richtig appetit :-)

bettina (wales)

Elke said...

Ui, das ist ja alles schön geworden! Was du alles kannst!
VG
Elke

Woolly Bits said...

Corina, thanks - I never saw this cake made with butter! might be interesting, though part of the appeal (at least for me) seems to be that "cooling" effect of letting the chocolate mass melt - which only happens with coconut oil, as far as I know?

Nina - I think tunisian crochet is kind of an "ugly sister" to normal crochet. I think it deserves more, it makes a nice fabric and could be very useful for bags and other projects that need a denser, stronger material!

Renate - ja, so hiess der bei uns auch!:) der absolute favorit fuer kindergeburtstage.... der rest - siehe pm.

Leigh - go ahead with that cake! it's not something I'd want every day, but we can indulge every now and then (and you don't need an oven for this one....)

Bettina - ich sehe schon, ich habe ein neues craving gestartet!:) ich hoffe, er schmeckt auch allen.... vielleicht sollte ich mal wieder ein altes "hermann" rezept rauskramen?:)

Elke - danke, ich bin ein bisschen ein "jack of all trades", but not perfect in any of them:)

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