Back in March I was thinking about the monthly column I write for Simply Crochet magazine, wondering what would be a good subject to write about for early summer. I was thinking summery thoughts, dreaming of the sea, salty sea breezes and that joyful feeling of freedom that comes with being on holiday. And then I thought of bunting. I thought of how the streets of my home town in Dorset are always strung with bunting during the summer to welcome visitors, and how the same thing also happens here in my Yorkshire home town. It is such a cheerful and nostalgic sight, and a string of homemade bunting carries those same feelings of happy cheer and childhood nostalgia for me.
So I happily wrote about crochet bunting and garlands for the magazine, and then thought how much fun it would be to make up a little bit of summer bunting in my favourite shades of coastal blues. Perhaps I might even share it with the readers of Simply Crochet magazine, inspire them to hook up a little bit of fluttery summery decoration for themselves?
To keep things simple, I chose just four colours to work with, using my favourite Stylecraft Special DK :: Petrol :: Turquoise :: Denim :: Cloud Blue
I came up with a neat little triangle worked in four quick rounds, the last round being a simple edging to pretty it up a bit. I made 12 triangles, then strung them together with three rows of crochet to make quite a thick decorative band running along the top.
To finish it off nicely, I stitched on some spotty buttons
Ta-dah!!!!! I love the simplicity of this decoration, it is unusual for me to be so minimal with my colour palette (!) but I really enjoyed immersing myself in these summer blues.
Now then, I debated long and hard about sharing this next bit with you, it is not that pretty! You have to first understand that a string of bunting is a devilishly difficult thing to photograph. It is long, and floppy, and the backdrop takes a lot of consideration. I confess that I failed miserably. Would you like to see my pitiful attempts?
I tried outside first. However, my backyard is currently looking very sad and scruffy, and not that great for a photo shoot. Plus my neighbours cat Bert insisted on coming in for a nosey and would not leave even when I asked him nicely.
I had a bit of better luck inside, hanging it across my mantel. The finished string measures 135cm, and it was actually a pretty good fit across my old fireplace, but of course it ended up right at the bottom of the picture.
Luckily, I was able to send my bunting to the lovely peeps at Simply Crochet who do things the Professional Way. I asked Tanya if she could take some "behind the scenes" pictures to show me, as I was reaaaaaaally curious to see how it would be styled. I had imagined my bunting hanging in a beautiful little white washed summer house, or maybe a cute retro beach hut? Or how about a wonderful light-filled little boys room, with blue gingham bedding and vintage wooden boats? Oh yes, my creative mind overflowed with all sorts of ideas!!!
When the pictures came back, I laughed and laughed. How fanciful I had been!
Of course, these things simply take place in a carefully staged, professionally lit photographic studio. No summer houses or beach huts or gorgeous houses.
There is also a fair amount of technical computer wizardry involved too, something else that I would fail miserably with no doubt. But the finished result? Well..................
This is how it will appear on the printed page, and I think the team at Simply Crochet did a terrific job. My Summer Blues Bunting pattern will appear in issue 19, which will be in the UK shops on Thursday 29th May.
So. What next? Well.....when I originally designed the bunting in shades of blue, I had been thinking of the sea. But part way through making it, I realised that it would make a terrific decoration for a little boy's bedroom don't you think? It would make a great gift to welcome a new baby boy into the world, or to decorate a toddlers bedroom. I then got curious about how this pattern would turn out if it was worked up shades of pink? We can't have the boys taking over, now can we?!
So I chose fours new colours of Stylecraft Special DK ::
Clematis :: Fondant :: Magenta :: Raspberry
Oh so pretty! They took me instantly to a summer garden full of roses and clematis and raspberries and sweet peas.......
These colours were a joy to work....
... and as with the blue bunting, I finished the string off with some pretty spotty buttons.
Love how it turned out. Super pretty, and perfect for little girls (or big girls, come to think of it)
I am continuing to work with the lovely peeps at Wool Warehouse which is giving me a great deal of pleasure I have to say. The team there are so friendly and enthusiastic about all that they do, it's bloomin' marvellous to chat and plan and get all giddy with folks who love colours and yarn *almost* as much as I do! You can find all the Attic24 colour packs and buttons and things HERE on their website, it's looking very cheerful on that page I have to say!
As you know, any excuse to play with colour and yarn and I am right there in a jiffy. This week I've been in my element, faffing about with my yarn balls, planning and playing and scheming in full, glorious colour.
I wanted to have a play with other colour combinations for my bunting, to see how I could bring different sets together. I know that choosing successful colour combinations can seem like an impossible task to some, and yes it can be very hard to get it right especially if you are doing it via a computer screen. So, just for the pure pleasure of doing it, here is what I have come up with......
:: pomegranate :: spice :: petrol :: meadow ::
This is quite a feisty combo, kind of hot and spicy and rich.
:: pomegranate :: spice :: gold :: meadow ::
Taking out the deep petrol colour and replacing it with rich gold gives a lighter feel, but still full of rich, warm tones.
And here's how those two triangles came out.
Next I went for some prettier, more mellow tones..
:: pale rose :: grape :: gold :: camel ::
These colours remind me of sunshine and fragrant summer flowers.
Now taking out the gold and adding in the richness of the pomegranate..
:: pomegranate :: camel :: pale rose :: grape ::
And here's how the triangles turned out. I love these colours, they are soft and warm and mellow.
Ooooooooo! Now there's a lovely palette! I can picture a cushion coming together in those pretty summer colours :)
Some rich, earthy colours coming into play now ::
:: copper :: magenta :: mocha :: raspberry ::
Then changing out the earth colours to add some water!
:: denim :: raspberry :: petrol :: grape ::
Oh yes, I really love these ones too. The one on the right (with the blues) is maybe a touch too dark, perhaps I would lift out the petrol and put a lighter blue in there instead.
Do you like these colours all together? I think they are absolutely WoNdErFuL and the instant I looked at this photograph I wanted to go grab my hook and start making granny squares with them. I can see a big granny blanket right there in those colours, it would be so beautiful! All sort of rich and mellow and warm and spicy! Can you see it? Can you imagine it? Oh the possibilities!!!!!!!!!!!!
Aaaanyyyyyhow.....maybe there is a new blanket idea germinating there, but for now, back to the bunting. I really adore these colours, they aren't my usual palette of clear brights, but there is still a brightness there. I'd say "rich" is a more appropriate word.
I think I will make six more and string them together to add some rich, spicy colour to a little corner of my home.
I am really enjoying working with Wool Warehouse on various yarny projects and am thrilled to be earning a small commission on each sale of the blue and pink yarn packs mentioned earlier in this post. There is 400g of yarn in each of these packs, so you could make shed loads of bunting, or maybe even a small baby blanket or cushion with the leftovers!
You can find all Attic24 yarn packs right here.
I am also loving the designing and writing work that I'm currently doing for Simply Crochet magazine, but I would like to reassure you that the magazine doesn't in any way ask me (or pay me) to promote it here on my blog. I write about it every so often cos I love chatting about my creative journey and thought it would be fun to share some colour-love with you. I hope you might feel inspired to go grab some balls and hook yourself a little string of summer colour!