I have to tell you that I'm getting a huge amount of satisfaction creating my Winter Wreath accompanied by this super wintry weather. The view from my attic window this morning is just perfection! We had light snow falling for much of the weekend, and although there's only a few scant icy patches remaining here in town, the surrounding hills are still dressed in wintry white. It's rather lovely being cosied up indoors working away on my little bits of pale-coloured crochet to match the landscape.
I thought it would be fun to share progress on my Winter Wreath with you as I love it when other artists and designers share their creative processes and wish it happened more often. It's like a glimpse behind-the-scenes, a little peek into the way the Creative Mind works, which is quite a fun thing to share I think.
I can already quite clearly see this wreath in my minds eye, yes, I can picture exactly how I would like it to look. Of course there is still quite a sizable element of surprise involved in this sort of creation as there are so many little pieces that all need to come together to make the whole.
I drew up a quick sketch in my notebook - this is not something I usually do, but I've decided to make this wreath very slightly different to the previous ones and wanted to test the idea out on paper first. I've decided to keep the top third of the wreath much less cluttered than the rest, creating a deep blue sky with falling snowflakes. The foliage will smother the bottom two thirds, with a robin/bird/mouse/critter of some description nestling in the centre (I'm favouring a robin at the moment)
With this idea in mind, I worked my stripy wreath cover to create land and sky. I worked random stripes of double crochet (32 stitches across), with some lovely even blue stripes which will eventually provide a backdrop to some delicate crochet snowflakes.
I enjoy the process of creating the striped base on which to add my crochet decorations, it's rather satisfying work and comes together surprisingly quickly. As with all my wreaths, I'm using a 35cm polystyrene half round ring. You can buy these rings in many different sizes, and I've often thought about making some small 15cm ones as a quick-fix solution to my wreath addiction (would be lovely for Valentines Day - I can picture hearts and roses in reds and pinks?!)
Anyhow.....back to my Winter Wreath...........
......I use tail ends left dangling after each colour change to stitch up the seam around the centre back of the wreath, it's a neat way to pull it all together.
There! Can you see the effect of the sky and the land? Can you picture little snowflakes softly falling onto pale, frosty winter foliage? Can you see it?
As with all the wreaths I've made so far, I'm using a mixture of soft merino yarns to crochet up the leaves, flowers, berries and foliage. These are all odds and ends from my stash, some left over from my Bower Bird workshops last year and some that've been sat on my studio shelves for a while - I'm resisting the temptation to buy any new yarn for this project, although I am missing some soft green shades that I'd love to include. I've a mixture here of Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino, Drops Superfine Merino DK and Drops Baby Merino 4ply. I'm mostly using a 3.5mm hook.
As you can see - this past week I've been concentrating on leaf production. I've been hooking up these simple leaf shapes using the May Rose leaf pattern (on my blog HERE). I am really enjoying these pale, delicate shades, very different for me colour-wise but they are whispering cold, frosty icy things to me and I'm confident that the overall effect of these colours combined with just a little bit of white, silver and sparkle will be wonderful.
I showed you a few of these fern leaves last week, I absolutely love the way they've turned out. I've written up the pattern (find it HERE), they're made using simple chains and and slip stitches. They are quite fiddly as they are small (I used a 3mm hook) but the results are worth it. I'm not sure what you would use them for if you're not on a wreath making journey - possibly an addition to a crochet flower corsage/brooch (they remind me of the ferns that often go with roses to make traditional wedding button holes!)
This is my current leaf collection - I've still got plenty more to make. This week I'm going to try making some seedheads with tiny glass beads added - I'm quite excited about that prospect!
As with my other wreaths, I really love to combine crochet and yarn with some added decorative extras. During the past few months I've been collecting together some winter-inspired bits and bobs....
....what do you think? I've loved collecting these things together (can you tell, I've been on a bit of a mission?!)
The silver and pearl twigs on the right were Christmas decorations snapped up very cheaply in the supermarket in December. The glittery pompoms, cute little snowflake buttons and diamante pins were found on Amazon. I bought some little packets of pearl beads and sequins from a local shop, but my best find were these.....
..... I found these beautiful wire and bead stems in Boyes (a general we-sell-everything type shop here in the UK). They caught my eye as I was on the way to the till as they were in this funny bit of the haberdashery section dedicated to bridal stuff - you know, little ribbon bows, fake flowers, lace etc. and were only 99p each. I think these are maybe used as bridal hair accessories? Or little floral table displays for weddings? Who knows....but I do know that they will look wonderful added to my Winter Wreath.
I did a bit of searching about on Amazon to see what else I could find, just in case you feel inspired to follow in my wintry footsteps......
Snowflake Buttons (these are really pretty in real life!)
I think I've possibly gone a bit overboard with the bling (it's quite addictive collecting it all up!), I'll have to have a play and see how it comes together once I've made more of the crochet pieces. I'm not very good at the less-is-more approach, which you may have guessed already ;)
Now before I toddle off, I would like to share a couple more beautiful crochet wreaths that have inspired me recently....
The one above is really wonderful, it's made by a very talented lady called Angela. Now Angela is blogless (I keep trying to twist her arm with that, she takes the most beautiful photographs and would take to blogging like a duck to water), but you can follow her inspiring projects and photos over on Flickr. I really love the pinecones - I've not tried them myself yet, but there is a free pattern for them here.
And this gorgeous wreath was created by Liz who shared on my Facebook page, isn't it lovely? She told me that the colours are inspired by early morning winter skies.
You can find more inspiring winter ideas in this post.
Right then....off I toddle, back to my wintry making and daydreaming. These cold, quiet, January days are proving to be rather wonderful.
ps the Fern Leaf Pattern (with step-by-step photos) has now been added to the list in my sidebar, find it HERE. Happy leafy hooking!x