Well hello, so good to have your company. Sit ye down in a comfy spot and prepare yourself for a visual treat, for at last it's ta-dah time!!! As ever I am bubbling over with the excitement that goes hand in hand with the giddy showing off of creative endeavours. I apologise in advance if this post gets out of hand, only I have just previewed the photo uploads and OH MY. This is going to be one truly photogenic ta-dah, it really is.
Before we commence with the project reveal, lets just have a little Hook Talk shall we? Many of you asked about the hook I've been using (the dotty-spotty one) which appeared in the last post. I have to tell you I absolutely adore using this hook. Not only is it drop-dead-gorgeous but it also feels wonderful to hold and seems to magically enhance my crocheting speed. Sadly I can't tell you where it came from as it was a gift from a very generous visitor to the Attic, sent all the way to my door from Germany. As far as I can tell, the hook itself is a normal metal crochet hook with the handle made from polymer clay. In theory then, it should be possible for one to obtain some packets of colourful polymer clay and make ones own colourful hooky handles don't you think? Or else you could always commission someone else to do the work for you :: take a look at these, oh and these too. Yes, yes I know, The Wanties are pretty bad sometimes aren't they?
So on with the crochet stuff now then......my latest project has provided me with such a huge amount of fun, I've absolutely loved working these layers. Love love love loved it. It's been quite a frivolous indulgence, making something for myself just to see if I could. A hooky challenge. I wanted to see if I could take an idea that's been sitting in my Creative Mind for quite some time and pull it through to successful reality.
The idea then? To make a layered, circular shape that looked like a giant blooming flower. But one with No Holes or Gaps in it, and therein lay the challenge. As far as I could tell when I was desperately searching for a suitable pattern, most layered flowers have the petals worked out of chain loops. For example, look at this lovely flower to see what I mean :: this was the look that I was after but I didn't want any gaps or holes in between the layers.
So I tried to work something out myself...the above sample was made back in the winter time. I figured that maybe I could work a basic circle, then work a layer of petals out of Front Loops Only, picking up the back loops to create the next round of the circle.
I think the principle of the idea worked out, but I wasn't happy with my petals. Cos they looked like bobbles and were all sticky-uppy. I wanted pretty, flat shaped petals that looked more flowery. Plus I was having a lot of difficulty working out the mathematics of it all, ie how many stitches should be in each round and how to divide those stitches by the number of petals. My brain kind of went into melt down at this point and I was forced to abandon the idea.
Fast forward to two weeks ago when a most pleasant little jaunt through Flickr suddenly had me stop dead in my tracks :: THERE IT WAS!!!!!!!!! The very idea that had been in my mind for ages, and someone else had brought it to reality! I followed the link to a lovely blog called Two Butterflies to find out more, and joy of joys there was a link to the pattern. It's actually an old vintage potholder pattern from the 1940's. I couldn't wait to get started.....
........wow, what a super little pattern!! It's constructed in the same way as my original sample ie the petals are worked out of the front loops and the circle part out of the back loops.
The flower is then built up in layers, with two rounds being worked in each colour (a flat circle round, followed by a petal round).
Wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!! Round and round and round building up layer upon layer of colourful, happy floral petals!! Such fun!!!!
Boy oh boy, I really, really, really enjoyed sitting and working on this beauty, enjoyed watching it grow and bloom, playing with the colours as I went.
Smoochy-smooch, I couldn't get enough of it ♥
Then last weekend I realised that it was all over.
It had come to an end.
I think I probably could have gone on and on and on producing these frilly layers for ever and a day.
I could have constructed a huge ginormous circular floor rug.
But no, I had to stop.
Thirty centimeters across and that was it.
There it is in all it's frilly, layered blooming glory.
Isn't it perfectly bonkers??!! Quite a crazy bit of hooky over-the-top-ness!
This is the reverse side look. These are the circles that are worked in the back loops, supporting the front-loop petals.
I found out through a bit of trial and error that I only needed to make increases in every other row, otherwise there seemed to be way too many stitches and it didn't want to lay flat.
I also found out that the total number of stitches in each row needed to be a multiple of five for the petals to work out right, so this project did involve a wee bit of counting and checking to make sure it was all staying on track.
But it was SO worth the effort. The result is a beautifully flamboyant and wonderfully tactile object, it invites you to play with it....oh and we certainly did just that.
The Little People really enjoyed playing with this bit of crazy hooky whilst it was lying about the place waiting for it's backside to be created. Little B took to holding it under his chin and snuggling his face into it like a comforter. Bless.
The backside of my Blooming Flower cushion was constructed in plain circles which mirrored the circular rows from the frilly side. In other words I made the same increases in every alternate row....
....then finished off with a row of red petals (front loop only). It was a bit curly-wurly when I'd finished it, so I gave it a v light press with the steam iron on the wrong side to flatten it all out nicely.
Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmm!! Yummy scrummy!!!
To construct the cushion, I put wrong sides together and joined with crochet slip stitches through the back loops of each final round. It worked a treat and made a lovely neat join, bringing the front and back sides together beautifully.
The feather pad I bought is quite full and puffy, so the cushion has taken on a wonderfully squishy round shape.
And of course, it looks perfectly at home amongst all the other hooky goodness I've got going on here.
I love seeing it nestling into the furniture as if it's always been here. Sometimes on the sofa, sometimes on the big chair. I love it's frilly good looks, it's rich layers of colour.
In short, this project has made me very happy indeed. Lots of happy hooky memories, resulting in a wonderfully happy Finished Object.
The written pattern is out there on t'internet for you all to go find if you'd like to have a go at this sweet project. I also managed to sneak time in whilst Little B napped to take some step-by-step photos in order to write up a tutorial for you all. I'll be working on that in the next few days.
In the meantime, here's a quick snapshot to show you my Blooming Flower cushion being smooched and my neat new hair-chop.
Well you did ask. I'm happy with shorter hair now (I had long, long hair for most of my life) and am also back to my natural dark colour after years of having highlights put in. I figured that whilst I've only got a smidgen of grey hair lurking then I'm happy going au naturel with the colour. Saves the pennies too.
I've thoroughly enjoyed sharing with you today, thank you so much for calling by. Off to go snuggle my three Little Peeps now, today is the first day of our long six week summer holiday and I'm loving having them home. Byeeee for now xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Edited to add :: re the dotty-spotty crochet hooks, I've just recieved the following info from Angela at Polymer Clay Creations....
She will happily make hooks to order, you will need to convo her directly via Etsy. The spotty hooks are priced at $6 each, with a discount of 10% if you order four or more at the same time. The hooks are US ones, so for UK peeps the sizing is a little different to what we are used to. She has the following mm sizes available ::
3.25 / 3.5 / 3.75 / 4.25 / 5 /5.5 / 6 / 6.5
I think the one closest to a UK 4mm (our most popular size) would be the 4.25mm.
Resistance is futile you know. x
PS>>>> TA-DAH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! THE TUTORIAL IS READY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
FIND IT ♥HERE♥ !!!!