Crocheting with Nylons

At one time in my life, I crocheted afgans, vests, scarfs, hats….you name it, but it has been a very long time since I picked up a crochet hook, and a first time using a nylon stocking cut up on the diagonal into one long strip. To be honest, although at one time I had a case with every size of hook….I couldn’t lay my hands on even ONE proper crochet hook…so I’ve been using my poor discarded pencil hook, and although it is a little “fine” for the job, it is certainly adequate.

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I took a scrap piece of rugwarp to practise on, and it was sure a good thing I did.

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My first attempt was UGLY bad,

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but with trying again, I got the knack of it.

Never having tried an edge rolled forward before, I waited until the ‘try out’ session to decide how wide the edge should be. I decided on an inch, which gave me enough fabric to fold twice, hiding the zigzagged edge.

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and I’m rather pleased with how it is turning out.

In the mean time…..

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I’ve started drawing the pattern for “Lady with Fan”….I must admit I enjoy the process of drawing it……….not so enthused about the transfer part…it’s slow and time consuming to make sure the ink is getting through to the backing. Maybe one day I’ll get hubby to make me a light table….that would be lots easier.  🙂

Thanks for stopping by.

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Finishing and Beginning

Christmas is over, family has returned home, and once again it’s just Ray and I keeping the home fires burning.

Last night I completed the hooking on the cats paws mat.

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I still have some questions about it….for instance….I don’t imagine I can steam it. I seem to recall having someone say to lay a damp cloth over it then after it is damp, block and let dry. Was this a dream???…my imagination????….does anyone know??

Next then will be the finishing. I have to dye more nylons for that task, and then experiment with crocheting the edge after it is rolled forward. This will be a whole new experience for me…never having done a “rolled forward”  or crocheted edge.

For the last while I’ve been hooking small pieces, and while I’ve enjoyed them all, I’ve really missed having a large, challenging project to be excited about. I tried to think what would create this enthusiasm, and I realized I wanted to do yet another Klimt. After an hour or so of browsing, I’ve settled on “Lady With Fan” a portrait of an unknown woman. I was drawn by the wonderful background and the significance of the birds and flowers…love, happiness,peace etc. …..a balm for my soul at a very difficult time in my life when my dear sister is very ill with cancer.

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The lady seems so graceful, peaceful and pensive. I only hope I can capture that feeling.

It is square…and I decided on 36″ x 36″. Thanks to my clever husband who was able to take the 8″x8″ picture, and mark out a grid on it that will be 3″ squares on the 36″ inch square pattern.( I need 3″ since he made me a 4’x8′ board of 3″ squares for drawing my patterns.) By labelling the squares and drawing from them, even though I am artistically challenged, I can adequately reproduce it to the size I want.

Now to make sure I complete the cats paws before I get involved in this new project!!

Chugging Along

Being a member of Gene Shepherd’s Internet Rug Camp has lots of perks. Just one, is several times a year getting a free pattern.

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I seldom hook seasonal topics, just because I dislike the thought of them being useable/out for a short period of time. However, I decided to hook this little bird and holly to have on the table as a hot mat for Christmas. It is traced onto the red dot, ready for transfer to the backing. I looking forward to hooking with wool again.

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The Cats’ Paw mat is nearing completion, and I’m starting to contemplate the finishing. I’ll have to dye more blue nylons and then cut them on the diagonal in a long coil to creating whipping material. Jill told me how a friend finished her nylon mat by crocheting with the nylons, but I’ve got lots of experimenting to do to see if I can make it work.

Thanks so much for stopping by. I hope you have a joyous holiday season….hug your loved ones close.

Cat’s Paw Background

The background is underway, and I really like the effect of the blues against the reds. I wanted it to pop, and it surely does. This is by far the brightest piece I’ve attempted, and the colours are way outside of my usual comfort zone. (Saundra these colours may shock you to the very core…I need to visit your blog frequently just to get a calm colour fix)

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My favourite cat’s paw is the large one on the left, which goes smoothly through the oranges to red , pinks and finishes with maroon.

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I spot dyed the background with 5 colours. I began with turquoise (which unfortunately doesn’t show up in the picture), then used, from pro chem: navy, national blue, brilliant blue, and also the Majic Carpet blue. I’m not very good yet at gauging how many nylons I’ll need….they don’t go very far), so I’ve got lots more background dyeing to do.

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I find I’m adding more rounds to many of the paws as I do the background, as well as inserting more small ones to fill in the spaces. Its rather like watching someone break out in the measles!!

Panty hose Bird

While many of the free patterns in RHM don’t appeal to me, I liked  this particular one and had been thinking for some time that it would be fun to do. It was in that…gee I’d like to try that someday….category (along with countless others).

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By the spring of this year (2010) I was once more feeling well enough to travel, and planned a trip to see my family in Regina. I wanted to take some hooking with me, but I was working on my hall runner , and I certainly wasn’t about to lug that across the country. In fact I didn’t want to take my cutter at all…the last time I flew , my leather suitcase had been destroyed, and I wasn’t about to risk damage to my dear little Bliss.

While I was pondering this, one of the women arrived at a Sunshine Rughookers meeting one morning with several pillowcases full of dyed nylons. A hooker who had worked exclusively with them had decided for some reason to give up hooking, and had donated her stash to the group. I was merely an interested onlooker for quite some time while others claimed treasures from the colourful pile. Then it came to me, that trying a piece hooked with nylons wouldn’t require a cutter, and this would be a great ‘travelling’ project. I remembered the little bird, and trying to recall the details of the pattern, I came up with this colour palette..(dictated entirely by what was left in the pile that might work). Fortunately I remembered the essential details, but forgot entirely about the need for a background. Ah well I’d worry about that later.

After a few quick tips from experienced “nylon hookers”, I flew off to Regina with my little project. My granddaughter helped cut the strips while I was there, and I always think of this as Livy’s mat.

I finished the foreground during a camping trip in the summer, then turned my attention to the background. I wanted a pale mottled blue, and thought it would be a simple thing to pick up cheap white nylons at the dollar store, and dye them. No such luck!! Apparently if you want white panty hose these days, you have to pay a premium price for them. The closest I could get were white knee highs that were heavier than nylons. Not to be out done…I bought 5 pairs of them and came home to my dye pot.

After the longest dye session in history…I finally got the water to clear somewhat, and was pleased with the result…only to find when I rinsed them under the tap, that the dye washed right out. I pondered my options, and finally decided that a slightly off-white background would be fine…and if anyone asks…that’s what I’d intended all along!!