WIP Wednesday: butterflies and flowers

Perhaps that should be WTHP – works that have progressed. I’ve been busy 🙂

Since my last craft-related post, I’ve been settling into our new home in the Pennines, in a town which is a good long train ride from my work. Commuting can be crushingly miserable, especially on Northern’s old buses-on-rails, so I’ve taken pains to make the most of the experience. Train 1 of 2 is for breakfast: a flask of something hot, and a pot of overnight oats. Then, a brisk walk across Manchester to Piccadilly while the sun rises (and sometimes you can even see it!), to train 2 of 2. This is where the crochet happens.

My ongoing project is a shawl made up of ‘butterfly garden’ squares from The Granny Square Book. I found some cheap and cheerful Hayfield DK yarn on special offer, in a lovely shade of green with subtle hints of blue and yellow (‘Orchard’ for those of you who might want to know such things), and bought 3 balls. So far I have used almost 2 of them, and made 17 complete squares.

butterfly-garden-1

work in progress

I can’t wait to see how the finished shawl turns out – it should be perfect for layering on fresh spring mornings. And from snooping around on crochet blogs, I’ve noticed that this particular pattern looks fantastic in an ombre colour scheme, so a small butterfly afghan might be next…

But in the meantime, as Christmas draws near and my finances creak under the strain, I’ve been scouring Ravelry for handmade gift inspiration – brooches, keyrings, hats; basically anything that can be worked up quickly by a rookie and still look good enough to give as a gift. Never, since the earliest childhood days of “it’s the thought that counts,” have I made anything remotely good enough to give to someone as a present, so this decision was not taken lightly. But my hooking skills have come a long way this year, and after a few false starts, I managed to work up a few decent brooches:

christmas-flower

here’s one I made earlier

Thanks to a giddy online shopping spree at The Bead Shop I am well stocked with brooch backs, pearl beads, pendant bails, necklace chains and charm bracelet findings. Needless to say, quite a few people will be finding crochet flower jewellery under their tree this year…

The wonderful thing about crochet flowers is that, like granny squares, they’re so portable. They work up in rounds, so it’s easy to reach a convenient stopping point by the end of a journey, and they can be as simple or as intricate as you like. And, like granny squares again, they can form the building blocks of a much bigger project – how about a blanket made entirely of stitched-together flowers? Something to think about for 2017.

p.s. in case you hadn’t guessed, I’ve finally joined Ravelry, and oh my goodness it is wonderful!

 

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