Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Moondust will cover you

IMAG2362 first two mandalas

In addition to the plant hanger, I've done a few other bits of crochet lately. I had had the pattern for the Little Spring Mandala printed out and ready to go for months, waiting for the right moment to concentrate on something unfamiliar.

I decided to try it in 8ply cotton (Mostly Lincraft, some others from the stash and from a generous donor), in the hope that it might end up big enough to serve as a wash cloth/face washer. I had to google instructions for just about every round, even a video for the magic loop to start. Watching the video lead to the strange experience of somehow forgetting that I am decidedly left-handed when it comes to crochet. This is crazy, but not quite as crazy as it sounds, as I and do some things with my left (writing, eating with a fork or spoon, cartwheels) and some with my right (throwing or kicking a ball, handling scissors and other tools). Nothing ambidextrously, though.

IMAG2364 first two

After a few rounds of slow, clumsy frustration, I started again with the left hand and it mostly went smoothly from there. Once I'd made one (on the left above, with the orange centre) I concluded they probably weren't going to be suitable as washers. But I went ahead and made a second one anyway. I wanted to try a more planned-out and harmonious colour scheme. And also there is just a lot of satisfaction in making the second one of anything new - it's so much faster and easier the next time around.

I was showing them to my grandmother (a wonderful knitter who only crochets edgings when she really has to) and she came up with a use for a pair of them - basically as doileys/mats, as a gift. So I had an excuse to go one more time, this time a matching colour scheme, but swapping the yellow and the blue.

coordinated pair of mandalas

I was still looking for a nice crochet washcloth pattern. There was another one I tried, and I struggled with it for a while, unable to figure out what I was doing wrong. There seemed to be too many stitches as the rounds increased - it was so ruffly I couldn't see how it would ever lie flat. I realised that I was treating it as an American pattern when it might actually be using the British definitions of the terms. Or was it the other way around? This was all before Christmas, I can't remember now. In any case, when I tried the other option, it had the same problem.

This is an annoying thing about crochet, especially if you like to source patterns online. The terms are different, but only just. Actually some are the same or similar terms but they mean different things! A US single crochet is a UK double crochet. Double crochet in the US is treble in the UK. Triple in the US is double treble in the UK. I still have to look up almost every stitch to be sure I'm doing the right one.

P1080175 ed

Anyway I couldn't get that annoying pattern to work either way, so I gave up and moved to another one I had stashed and ready: the 'Starfish Washcloth' by Deta Jetmir. This one was well written and the designer has made videos (both left and right handed!) which are very helpful.

P1080175 ed

I made a set of three for a baby who will be joining my extended family in a few months. The two pastel ones are in 4ply baby cotton and I added a few extra rounds of the pattern to get a good size. As it's written for worsted, I think I also needed at least one extra round when using 8ply. The purplish colour is an 8ply from the Bendigo Woollen Mills back room. (I finally got there for the first time, late last year!) It is delightfully soft and seemed to be too fine to really be an 8ply. No regrets though, it's lovely stuff.

Below, the blue one with yellow edging is all Lincraft 8ply. And the yellow-green might be my favourite, in Katia Degrad√© Sun.



Demelza said...

Love love love and it's so special to have these. Going to have a washycloth loving baby!

Donna Lee said...

I learned to crochet first and every once in a while get the urge to pick up a hook and make something. Pete loves hand made cotton wash cloths so I buy large cones of white (which is boring but he prefers it) and look for interesting patterns. My next one is a leaf pattern (although I think that may be knitted.....)

It's always interesting to see how different they look in different colors even though they may be the same pattern