Sunday, July 25, 2010

Shaman's Hats

Friday was going to be spent with a friend but she had to cancel. It must have been meant to be because I was ready to put the inspiration I'd been soaking up from Folk Arts in the Soviet Union to good use. These are my two favorite hats. Since getting the book last Sat. afternoon I've looked through it every night before going to sleep. This gives my mind time to absorb and mull over the pictures so by the time I sit down to work I've got them sorted out. If you've never tried this, you should. Another trick is to look through a book like this upside down. You'll see the shapes differently, not so much as what the subject actually is.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Bridal Mushrooms

Is there anything more rich looking than white and cream when shape and texture tell the story? As much as I love color, every so often I need to go with this color way. I really recommend it to refresh the eye. It can be so satisfying to play the variations in color and surface, one of the few times I can wholeheartedly agree that less is more.
This rainy thundery Monday has started out well for me. I finished these two pieces and opened my mail to find I'd sold a hat on Etsy. On Saturday Dan and I went to the Westport Library Book Sale and I think I got the bargain of the day. Folk Arts of the Soviet Union, a beautiful Abrams book loaded with inspirational pictures was only $5. I'm in design heaven!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Crocheted Socks that Don't Suck part 2

Here's the new and improved heel. I'm glad that I set it aside long enough to convince myself that it was worth it to rip it out and do it over. My biggest help in making knit or crocheted socks has been Priscilla Gibson-Roberts' Ethnic Socks & Stockings. There are any number of ways to construct a sock and this book did a great job of explaining them.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Crochet Socks That Don't Suck

A while back I bought a book of crochet sock patterns and made myself a pair. I really wanted to make myself some socks but was intimidated by knitting on double points and since I learned to crochet as a kid, I'm faster and more at ease with it. The pattern was easy to follow and the socks looked great. I wore them once. The soles were bumpy and by the end of the day I had stretched big holes in the toes. I swear to you that I worked to gauge and followed the pattern faithfully. It just didn't work. Standard sock yarn is just too thick for crochet socks. It takes something more like cotton crochet thread in thickness worked with an 8 or 9 steel hook. I find working with cotton hard on my wrists and hands and I wanted wool socks anyway. I'm working on two different pairs now. Both start with a double row of African flowers at the top and the leg is worked in shell stitch. I started the white one first and made a heel flap with short row shaping. It's kinda sloppy since I was making it up as I went along and I wish I'd done the heel flap in reverse single crochet on the back side so it wouldn't have the ugly ridge effect. I was going to just live with it but it's starting to really bug me so I'm going to frog it out. Then I realized that if I did an inserted heel I could work it in the round. So on the blue sock I crocheted the spot for the heel opening with contrasting yarn, continued a few more rows and then went back to work the heel. The contrast yarn was going to get frogged out to make the opening but I picked up the stitches on the bottom of the waste yarn first because I wasn't sure what would happen. It worked just great! I'm probably not explaining this very well so if you have questions, ask me..