Inspired by Carolyn I decided to make a crocheted skirt.
I loved her image and the gorgeous oranges and greens she used. I copied her design although with a few variations.
- DIfferent colours – I used small left over pieces of yarn, mainly in pink and blue, with dark green as the background colour. I used quite a lot of the green, maybe four or five balls. This yarn was kindly given to me by Jo.
- My “granny squares” (I cringe at this description (4/8/12 squares? Crocheted Catherine wheels?) are smaller than Carolyns
- My dimensions were 9 x 16 rather than her 6 x13 sqaures. My skirt is also a little longer
What I learned
- Crocheting is a nice change from knitting. I like the deft way my hook weaves in and out, front and back – this makes me feel quite expert while I am actually a complete beginner.
- It can be a bit fiddly, especially the colour change and changing rounds
- Two techniques I found helpful were to finish each colour and then start anew. The chain of three to get to the next layer didn’t really work for me. The other is change back to front between layers.
- I also found blocking the squares to be very helpful. I pinned the corners out and pressed the square flat – I created a 6cm x 6cm template but didn’t find it necessary. I just pinned the squares to my ironing board, steam pressed them and let them cool.
- The pressing revealed the lacy look. As these squares are beautiful on both sides I started to think of items that could show case them better than a one sided item, and have decided to try a scarf. The yarn and the tension could make this a bit too stiff so I will increase the crochet hook size and go for a thinner yarn. However Ceci warned me that the lacy effect means they can get hooked onto passing door knobs etc, and may need mending
- With three colours in one small square there are lots of ends. I tried hard to work these in as I went but I didn’t really crack it
- It is fairly slow progress but I found this the ideal hobby for travelling on public transport and fitting in to odd downtime slots. It is easy to pick up and put down and each square is very small and unobtrusive
- Carry small scissors. I had large ones in my bag and got in trouble going through security at the Mayor’s office. The scissors were confiscated and I forgot to pick them up involving time and work to get them back.
- I love the way the colours work. This is the biggest joy. I made them randomly, as the mood took me. Then arranging them into a pattern was fun. I could do stripes, blocks or variation. In the end I did horizontal colour stripes (pink and blue) and put one lighter next to one darker to create a sort of checker board look. My final arrangement is a bit like a Welsh blanket. The possibilities are endless here and this factor will bring me back to the technique.
In the midst of my creative efforts my dear Daughter in Law (who works for Burberry) sent me these amazing images. Look at those cool grannies!! Crochet plus knitting! Cables, embroidery, and cricket jumper ribbing. Of course too out there for many of us, but massively inspirational.
I may be a granny, but I am so up to the minute, darling!
Here is what it looks like as I am starting to join the squares together.
As it is coming together I realise that Carolyn’s approach of knitting a ribbed yoke/waist band is still a bit bulky and I do like my skirts to have sufficient shaping, given my relatively curvy shape. So I have stalled.
Given this is pure wool I have considered shrinking the top and stretching the hem, to create a slight A line, but I should have thought of that at the design stage. If I had been really clever I might have designed a yoked skirt and created a different design for the yoke – maybe striped instead of granny squares. Or even more interesting would have been to create different sized squares using a smaller crochet hook or finer yarns. My other notion is to dart the side seams to provide waist shaping, and put in a zip. I am not sure if this would work. Would it need a waist band? If so does it need to be interfaced or made in a different way? I wonder if anyone has made a crocheted granny square garment? They often seem to be based on rectangles rather than shaped.
Please let me have your thoughts on how to make a skirt and I will report back next week. Thank you!