Monday, 12 August 2013

Do you love your Granny?

I was recently invited by Valerie at Agrarian Artisan to join the ever present debate on the crochet Granny Square – do you love them? Or hate them?

The Granny Square first saw its heyday back in the 1970’s. Thanks to my Nan, I was the proud wearer of all things granny including waistcoats and poncho’s, and according to my Mum, most of the residents of Orford (Warrington) were the height of fashion in their granny square waistcoats, thanks to my Nan who could whip one up as quick as a flash.

Thankfully, the Granny has moved on to bigger and better things. Now more popular than ever, there are many contemporary designs that feature the Granny in all it’s glory. From blankets and cushion, to bunting and bags, the Granny has taken on a new lease of life helped along by the myriad of beautiful yarns that can turn a plain old Granny into something amazing.
Julie at little cotton rabbits has the knack of choosing the most perfect colour schemes for her gorgeous blankets.

You can see more of Julie's  amazing work here:

This Dolce and Gabanna bag retailed at around £900 last year – isn’t it gorgeous (not the price tag!!). I’m pretty sure I could whip up something similar for a lot less.

So I’m sure you’ve guessed by now that I sit in the “Love” Granny camp, although I have to admit I’m not one for rainbow colours; I much prefer more subdued shades. My current Granny project is a Debbie Bliss Aran Tweed Blanket in shades of green, cream and lilacs. It’s been a work in progress for about 18 months and so far I only have 20 squares. I need to get a move on before they yarn is no longer available!!!

I'd love to hear your views on the Granny Square and if you'd love to make one but can't crochet, then you can come along to my next "Learn to Crochet" course at Sandbach High School (Cheshire) in September and I'll show you how to make one. Details can be found here

When I ask what people want to get out of my course, the most popular answer is "to crochet a granny square". After the end of the 5 weeks I'm pleased to say that my pupils can crochet a lot more than a granny square and they are usually more than delighted with their new found skills.

Alternatively, Heather at Little Tin bird has a great tutorial here

So go on and crochet a granny, the possibilities are endless, rewarding and inspriring.

Happy Crafting, Lynne x

Sunday, 4 August 2013

Fun Hats and Flowers

I can't believe how quickly time is flying. The days are racing by and I've already designed and made a whole stack of Christmas projects, from knitted baubles to hot water bottle cosies and more fun hats. The world of designing is a little topsy-turvy as magazines are created about 4-6 months in advance. Knitting Christmas projects in the sun felt quite strange, but I enjoyed them all the same.

Talking of hats, my 30 fun hats arrived back home safe and sound recently. What a lot of hats, soon to be published in their own book, which I'm waiting patiently to see. I had my firm favourites at the designing and making stage, but then when I saw the fabulous photography, I found that I changed my mind. But here's one that has remained my favourite from start to finish - Red Riding Hood. It's simple and pretty and has some cable detail along the sides that you can't see in the photo. It's part of a hat duo as I've also designed a wolf hat - these make a great pair, especially if you have a boy and a girl. They're both really simple to make, knitted on straight needles with a sewn back seam - great for beginners. Images are courtesy of Quintet Publishing.

Lately, I've also been the proud recipient of flowers, thanks to some very thoughtful and kind friends and family. I've been given a beautiful bunch of lilies, a gorgeous lily plant which smells absolutely delightful in the conservatory, and some equally beautiful dendrobium - a flower of the orchid family. Lucky me. I'm doing my very best to keep them alive for as long as possible - could this be a first for me? Do I have green fingers after all? Don't tell hubby or else he'll have me pruning the plants in the garden.