I shall be brief-ish.
I have always had a strange fascination with eyes. For most of my teens, I had a necklace from a shop called Octopus, that was a weighted blinking dolls eye in a glittery casing on a chain. It made me happy beyond belief - and the fact it freaked a few people out was a little added extra joy.
They're the window to the soul and the bodies biggest mystery, they are all you need to see of a person to know how they are - and yet, they almost always look the same.
So, in the spirit of rug making, I've known for months an eye rug was on the agenda. As with my sunshine rug, I extensively googled for eye rugs, but they were either not to my liking, or far too expensive.
I'm not yet sure whether this is to my liking - and I can't tell you how I made it, because it was improvised, but I can tell you it was made from Hoooked Spesso, a chunky sustainably made cotton yarn with which I am smitten. It's about £12 a skein and there was less than 1 of each colour used here. The rug is about the size of a 32" TV.
What boggles me the most though, is how Eliot (my kitten) knows to cat-moflage himself in the middle. Does he just like the middle? Or does he know it makes him look adorable?!
So, brighter months approach (do I start every post with that?!) and I'm testing out ideas of summery, but crafty workshops. So this time - a rug!
This is made from Hoooked's Spesso Chunky Cotton, which is great for those 12mm crochet hooks. Hoooked say:-
'Our Spesso cotton yarn is very suitable for decoration and interior design. Tons of textile waste are generated during the textile manufacturing process. We purchase and collect this textile waste from companies that truly care about the proper destination of these materials. After being collected, the textile waste is sorted by colours, shredded into yarn fibre and spun again into this crafty cotton yarn. No chemical dyeing process is required. A new cycle begins, maximizing the use of natural resources. In this circular economy, you are able to transform yarn into art, making crafty creations of the lowest environmental impact and the highest ecological appeal.'
Which, in brief, give a little comfort around the fact that this beautiful rugged and rustic feeling yarn is sustainably sourced, using up waste and repurposing into something that can be used to make something else!
So - the rug - it's super simple. All you need to know is a chain stitch, single and a double crochet.
Row 1: slip knot, chain 4, complete the round by hooking into the first chain (4)
Row 2: 2 single crochets in each stitch (8)
Row 3: 2 single crochets in each stitch (16)
Row 4: alternating between a 1 single, then 1 double crochet, hook 1 crochet in the first stitch and 2 in the second (24)
Row 5 - how big you'd like it: continue Row 4, but each circle increase the number of 1s
so 5:- 1 in 1, 1 in 2, 2 in 3, repeat
6:- 1 in 1, 1 in 2, 1 in 3, 2 in 4, repeat
Essentially your circle is 8 1/8s - and each time your increasing the size of your 8th by 1 stitch.
Continue until your yarns have run out!
Unfortunately you can see below, I started part way through a skien of the blue, so I'm not quite sure exactly how big 3 would make. There was definitely still at least one round left in each of the pink and yellow - and with each hoop there's about 2cm added on every side. The rug below measures just over 50cm in diameter and therefore has definitely exceeded giant placemat territory!
1 skien of Spesso is about £12! - On the stall soon.
On the stall, I am often asked how much one bundle of Hoooked Zpagetti yarn will knit. It's always a hard answer. Given the recycled nature of the yarn, it can vary from bundle to bundle in thickness and stretchiness - but Hoooked estimate the average bundle will produce 50 x 50cm (2500 sqcm) of knitting/crocheting/good fun. So, what else have I to do other than put this to the test?
Now, one disclaimer, this bundle did not knit the snood alone, yesterday I used some of if for the slippers, so I started with a little less than one ball of the Hoooked Zpagetti in Yellow Dream.
For the snood, I used 14mm knitting needles (for a slightly looser knit, to balance the thickness of the yarn - I'd say you could also use slightly large ones too, but 12mm and below creates a tight knit which may be a little rigid, particularly for this width of scarf), cast on 15 stitches and only used the knit stitch for all the rows to get the waffly texture. I haven't counted how many rows this was, but with all the yarn used up, I got a swatch 88cm x 20cm (1,760 sqcm). Without the slippers, for the average ball, it could have been up to 125cm x 20cm (2,500 sqcm) which would be sufficient for a scarf.
As you can see, the 88cm wasn't quite enough for a scarf, though there's sufficient overlap for a neat chest warming snood and with two/three buttons attached (the stretch nature of Hoooked means you don't need to worry about button holes), you can have a range of different styles within the one piece. It's definitely functional and again, wide enough to cover the shoulders too - so if you prefer something thinner, then just cast on fewer stitches.
So you can see compared with a usual ball of yarn, a ball of Hoooked really goes quite far! This would make a couple of place mats, a lovely table runner, or with 3-4 bundles you can make a 1m x 1m rug or a jumper and with 6, a 1m x 1.5m blanket. I've just put this into the washing machine, so I'll report later as to how it survived!
In August, I had my flat refloored throughout with engineered wooden floors. Since I bought the flat five years ago, it had had the same cream carpets (which with all the crafting that goes on had become a sewing needle infested disaster waiting to happen.. and not really cream anymore!). Anyhow! I missed the feel of carpets under my feet instantly and started rug shopping. It turns out nice rugs are pretty expensive - especially when you have a particular taste... so I started on the pursuit of ways to make one.
This is how I originally discovered Hoooked and rekindled my love of knitting. At £8 a giant bundle, it goes far and is quick to work with and because it's cotton, it wears and washes well. With 3 colours and a pattern from Stitch and Story you can find here (I made it a little bigger, casting on to 30 instead of 25 stitches) I made a sunshine for my bedroom in about 12 hours. At £24 of yarn and £7 for the needles - and the inspiration for the knit shop - it's really rather a bargain!
I recently painted the room in white and deep dark blue and painted some of the furniture a bright yellow. It started as classy adult room (I promise) - but has since become a whimsical kid-ult fandango, with cloud lights (inspired by a Magritte poster, I'd like to add) a few brightly coloured touches, a shoe-place - and now, a sunshine rug - because the best thing about being an adult, is the being able to do exactly what we want and be exactly as we wish (and trying not to care what others think!).