It's been a lovely Winters day here in my patch, bright, sharp, and blinkin' cold. Sunshine and shadows, but oh it has been chilly! It's felt like the very middle of my bones have been cold today.
It's been an odd kind of a day, sort of stressful and sweet, calm and anxious all at once. I've had Little Lady home from school, snuggled on the sofa the whole day doing silent battle with a nasty virus. Poor love. She is very rarely unwell and it has wiped her out, leaving the both of us feeling totally drained. I really don't like it one little bit when the germs take hold.
Little B has been great this afternoon, happily entertaining himself and supplying us all with lots of feel-good cuddles.
There was a request to get The Beads out, it's been a while since we did these and I was more than happy to oblige.
We made a heart together, heavy with turquoise blue as Little B knows this to be my bestest most favourite colour and kept picking them out for me.
I have these gorgeously girly-pink tulips in the house, a gift from my wonderful, kind mother-in-law. They are such a pretty colour, I can't stop gazing at them. Just so perfectly pink.
Usually when one of the Little Peeps is ill, I fill my stay-home time with baking. Germs = Baking, but not so today. Today the crisp winter light was perfect for photography so I seized the unexpected quiet daylight hours and made a tutorial. You just can't beat a bit of concentrated creative activity to combat unease.
I was lucky to have my official Health and Safety officer on hand (dressed as Spiderman) to make sure my scissors were kept safe. He is obsessed with putting the little protective leather cover back on them, telling me I need to take care cos they are veeeery sharp.
So I made the photography part of my tutorial for my new stitch, after a shocking amount of upset with Wrong Numbers. Jeez, my poor brain. I got there in the end (multiples of 4, plus an extra 3!).
I made the photo tutorial using the Stylecraft Special Chunky yarn and a 6mm hook, as that's what I'm using to make my cushion. But once I had finished it, I had an urge to try out the pattern using Stylecraft Special DK and a 4mm hook so that I could compare the two.
Stylecraft Special comes in 3 weights :: a Double Knit (DK), an aran and a chunky. In the above picture you can see the difference between the DK and the Chunky. There is quite a bit of difference both in the way it feels to work these two weights (much more physical with the chunky), and the way the finished crochet turns out.
This is my sample worked up in DK, I love it SO MUCH!!! It turns out that this is a super-satisfying pattern to work and I think in the DK weight it would make a terrific blanket. It's quite a dense stitch, so would make a very substantial, warm blanket and I would love to try it out.
You can see the difference in scale here, but essentially the lovely texture and neat rows of colour are equally effective in both weights.
You may be wondering what the title of this post has to do with anything (Raindrops? Eh?) Well it's what I've decided to call this stitch. It was named by one of my lovely readers who said the stitch pattern reminded her of raindrops running down a window pane. It seemed very apt to say how drenched we have been here of late, with day after day of the wet stuff.
So with raindrops in mind, I also made a small sample using just shades of blue. I love the simplicity of it, and again I thought what a lovely, soothing blanket this would be to make.
My cushion is coming along nicely, I'm just in the process of crocheting the button flap bit, then trying to decide on the neatest way to pull it all together. I'm calling it the Rainbow Raindrops cushion.
Also, I just wanted to say that I am not in any way claiming that I have "invented" a new stitch here. It's actually very hard to invent anything new in crochet as it's an ancient craft and you can bet that pretty much everything has already been done at one time or another. This stitch technique already exists, and is called a Spike Stitch. It's where you work some of the stitches down into the rows below, pulling a long stitch up to the level of the current row (I used this technique when making my Christmas baubles). What I have done with Raindrops is to use a variation of the spike stitch to create my own particular pattern/texture. It's my interpretation if you like.
I'm looking forward to sharing the pattern with you, to see what you make of it and what ideas start to fly....I am wondering whether I have time to make a Raindrops blanket?! I would love to, it's been a while since I started on an exciting new blanket journey. Right, I'm going to start work on the tutorial now (after I've had a quick cuppa tea), I'll let you know when it's ready.
Edit :: I wrote this post yesterday (Friday) but towards the end of writing I began to feel veeery unwell. Turns out that the "cold through to my bones" feeling was the onset of this virus, and I've spent the past day battling chills and a fever. Feeling marginally better this afternoon, but still pretty pants. So I am a day late getting this post out, and I haven't quite got the energy to tutorial write today either...but hoping tomorrow I'll be feeling much better and can do it then. Much love xxxxx