Pattern rewriting

I’m in the middle of rewriting the pattern for my sheep. Hopefully it will be about half the size of my larger sheep I made a couple of weeks ago. I’m happy with the way it’s turning out though it did take three attempts to get the head the right size. Resizing a pattern certainly isn’t a straightforward process.

I’m making it bit by bit as I write.  My hope is that I’ll spot mistakes and problems as I go. It seems to be working so far.

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Crocheting the fleece as I go has been much easier than leaving it until the end.  Adding it to the legs before I joined them together proved much less fiddly; fleecing the body not having arms attached made the whole process much more manageable.

Now I need to make ears, a tail and the all important arms.:-)

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The Bear Necessities

Two and half years in the making and finally my Lollo Bear is finished!

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This project was started when I was quite new to crochet; I was slower and the organisation of all the motifs was a real struggle. I could feel the increased confidence and speed I now possess as I crocheted the arms and legs together this last week. It’s good to recognise and appreciate how far I’ve come.

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The pattern for this project is available at ravelry by Heidi Bears (here). I love the care and attention the author has put into this pattern; it is incredibly detailed with lots of photos. It’s a big pattern though (huge actually) it’s split into several parts and, I thought, much too large to print. This wasn’t too much of a problem though as: the motif diagrams are on a checklist sheet, and the joining of motifs is similar throughout.

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The arms and legs are attached via buttons and are able to move. I’m looking forward to finding this bear a good home; I have a good idea where he’s going.:-)

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Bear a thought

Whilst trying to declutter, I read a tip that suggested getting rid of old incomplete craft projects that were simply taking up space. My mind instantly flitted to a couple of  projects that had stopped and just not progressed in a long time: an experimental scarf which was more about me testing out an idea, and Lollo the African flower bear (pattern can be found on ravelry).

Without any regret and wondering  why I hadn’t done it sooner, I frogged (unravelled) the scarf and wound up the yarn into a ball.  But as for my bear… No! There was no way I could throw away the body and head I’d made so long ago. It sat in a bag by the side of my bed waiting for me to be inspired- so sad.

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I started crocheting this pattern at least two and half years ago. I made the head and body but got no further than making the motifs for the arms. I blogged about having stopped crocheting the bear (here) and had intentions to continue but alas untouched it sat.

The pattern is very detailed and broken into many parts. Being relatively new to crochet at the time I found its scope a little daunting. There were many motifs requiring various sized crochet hooks and a level of organisation I was struggling with.

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If I wasn’t going to dispose of this unfinished project then there was only one thing to do; I needed to complete my bear.

That is exactly what I’ve been doing. Sadly, I’d long ran out of one of the colours of yarn that I had been using for the motifs so I had to be a little creative. I crocheted motifs using a different (but similar) colours and mixed these in with the arm motifs that I’d crocheted previously. It seems to be working and feels good to have made progress.

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Tomorrow, I’ll post my finished bear.:-)

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Finished!

I have finished the sheep I’ve been crocheting; it looks marvellous.

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I’ve previously been referring to sheepy as a he but I’ve recently seen a female sheep name that I really like. I’m open to suggestions , any ideas?

The fleece really finishes him/her off. It was a great deal of work and I did have to take a break from it for a while but it works so well.

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My sheep was very much based upon Lydia Tresselt’s Dirk the Dragon pattern from ravelry. Its a lovely pattern that provides a great body shape. The idea for the fleece was one I’ve used before on a previous sheep crocheted using a pattern from Toft’s Edward’s Menagierie.

I crocheted the scarf using the simple Tunisian crochet stitch. I like the addition of the scarf it just adds that little extra something. The yarn used is Sirdar Snuggly Snowdrop Chunky. Its a really attractive yarn but can be tricky to work with as the stitches can be a difficult to see if you are using a smaller crochet hook.

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Ironically, the sheep contains no wool all yarns being synthetic or cotton blends. This was an intentional choice as I move away from using yarns and fibres from animal sources.

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Getting there!

Just an update on my crocheted sheep. The fleece is definitely getting there. Surely I’m will over half way.

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I’m a little concerned that yesterday I started to talk to him as I was crocheting- stir crazy perhaps?

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Laborious

So I think I mentioned before I’m in the middle of making a doll… Inspired by another pattern I have.

The original pattern was for a dragon but I really liked the style and body shape. I’ve decided to make a sheep doll.

It all crocheted together quite quickly but then I decided to give him a fleece! It’s one of those ideas which sounds good but you very quickly realise was baaaaad(sorry couldn’t resist).

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I’m single crocheting into the surface of the doll, chaining 8, missing a stitch and repeating up the body. I’ll have to do the other leg later.

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I think it looks awesome but it’s taking  a long time… Such a long time! I’m doing a baby blanket at the same time so I can flit from one to the other when I’ve had enough of the repetitiveness.

I have no doubt that my sheep will look great when he’s done though.:-)

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Creativity

Along with getting my crochet mojo back I’ve also been getting my art on. In actuality I started drawing before crocheting; I think the drawing rekindled my creative spark.

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I’ve been exploring an abstract style I first started developing when I was a teenager. I might share more of my artwork here if there’s interest; tho I’m looking forward to sharing more of my crochet soon.

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Keeping abreast

Recently, my sister inlaw began training as a midwife. As part of her Course she and the other trainees needed knitted or crocheted breasts.

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My sister inlaw can crochet and asked if I could help her crochet some  breasts for her cohort.  She found a pattern on the Lactation Consultants of Great Britain’s  website.

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So far, I think I’ve made about 8 breasts. I’ve adapted the pattern so that rather than making two parts that needs to be stitched or crochet together, I just crochet one continuous piece. For round 22 I crocheted into back loops only (to create a sharp turn) and also began reducing.

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Although not something I thought I’d be crocheting I do hope they prove useful.

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While/why I was gone

I noted that it has been a good while since I’d made any posts, in my last blog entry. This has been due to a lack of inspiration but also, I think, because of quite a big lifestyle change. [Please note this post is not meant as any form of  judgement except maybe of the industries involved… and of myself]

Last year I became Vegan after becoming aware of practises which deeply upset me. I’d been vegetarian for 21 years but failed to realise the part I was still playing in the cruel treatment of animals.

Part of this change entailed me no longer using wool and yarns containing animal products.

I’d always been of the mind that obtaining the fibres necessary to produce wool was a simple (and perhaps kind) shearing of sheep – no need for death. However, I discovered the process of shearing is not always kind due to industrial demands (fast hands can become careless). I came to learn that the sheep used, may have strips of skin removed; the wool that they have been breed to overproduce might otherwise matt. And when no longer producing wool in abundance, or of a high enough quality, these lovely animals are slaughtered for cheap meat.

Silken fibres involve the death of the silkworms… Again not something I realised before I went Vegan.

I felt guilty and angry with myself for not knowing.

I’m now using up any animal fibres I have and am not buying anymore. There are many alternatives I can and am using such as cotton, bamboo and synthetics.

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Inspired (finally!)

[Insert apologies for lack of posts]

Last week I decided I wanted to crochet a sheep or cow in the style of Dirk the Dragon by Lydia Tresselt (follow link to ravelry). I’ve used her lovely pattern to create a basic body shape to which I’m planning to add different ears, feet, hands and tail. I’m also planning on adding a surface crocheted fleece.

I’ve got quite a lot done in a short space of time and will add some updates as I progress!

 

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