What You Can Do With Kaldred

One of the best things about designing and writing patterns? I get to see what people do with my idea. It is immensely gratifying and so, so, so cool. My crochet bracelet pattern, Kaldred, has been the subject of a crochet-along on Ravelry and people have come up with really fantastic projects.

And it was all kick-started by Merri who arranged the crochet-along after seeing Debi's this stunning version:

Crochet cotton with beads. Debi chose very earthy, bronze-like colours for her Kaldred and I think her Kaldred looks flirty and fun.

Colour choice play a huge part in determining your look. Denise of FabEWElous chose to make her Kaldred out of black crochet cotton and added jet-black beads for effect. I think this version does indeed look fabulous: very chic and very gothic.

Shelley of CrochetedSass has made several Kaldreds, each with their own style. She even made one as an ankle bracelet! I really like this particular bracelet, though. Shelley explains that she thinks this one is more a cuff than a bracelet and I agree: this chunky Kaldred looks casual and contemporary.

Thank you for allowing me to use your photos, ladies!

I'm sure there are many other ways you can use the Kaldred pattern. Why not use it to make a necklace or a headband? Use a very chunky/bulky yarn and make a scarf? Add sequins or buttons? I think it is one of those patterns you can vary endlessly.

ETA: Oh, my word. I just love this version crocheted by Anne (aka FrozenP) in gimp. So textural:

Making Things

Crochet. I have been absolutely obsessed by crochet lately. Today I made this little bracelet out of scrap Rowan Denim. Pattern tomorrow. If you're a beginner crocheter, you will love how simple it is. Two things:

1) I love crocheting with cotton. In fact, I know nothing better than crocheting with a tightly-twisted mercerised cotton. Knitting with cotton tends to ruin my hands but crocheting is a different story all together.

2) I am an awfully tight crocheter. I have to go up at least one hook size (if not two) because my crocheting is uncomfortably tight and dense. In fact, you could probably use my crocheted fabric to cut bread unless I change hook size.

My very first garment ever was a self-designed crochet jumper made from my Mum's cotton scraps. It was yellow, orange, pink, lime green, and red. I made five granny squares and crocheted them together to form a strip right across my generous bust. (Hey, I was seventeen!) Then I crocheted stripes alongside the bottom edge making up the pattern as I went along. And a matching stripy square for the back. And another two stripy squares for the two sleeves. I whip-stitched everything together, of course, and wore the wonky cropped granny-squares-across-bust stripy jumper with pride.

Funnily enough the jumper got "lost" in the laundry one day.  Thanks Mum.

She never did manage to lose the trousers I made from my late uncle's kitchen curtain. These trousers would be have been on-trend this season had I not wore them until they fell apart (the fabric with its fish motifs might also have pegged me as being slightly weird). I am a bit tempted to sew a pair of wide-legged trousers, but I'll definitely give the crocheted granny-square/stripy jumper a miss.

A Corner of a Foreign Field

A blustery day in Glasgow. We seized the moment when the rain stopped and went into city centre to buy me a cinnamon latte and browse quickly through the bargain offers in Waterstones. This is what passes for normalcy - I could do it because the city was quiet, I had company and I had had a good night's sleep. Yes, I am starting to get cabin fever but the next hospital visit is on Wednesday. Please cross fingers for a solution. In the meantime life goes on.

And life right now equals being crafty with yarn. I have embraced Etsy - although I am slightly disturbed by the fact that you can buy handmade nipple tassels (link not safe for work, obviously) as well as pig ballerina cloth sanitary towels (reusable) (link not safe for your sanity). I have also become a beta tester of Ravelry which is a knitting/crochet community. I feel very middle-aged - particularly as I have been crocheting along to PUPPIES these past few days. Youth, youth, where hast thou gone?

Finally, I'm much amused by The Independent's latest marketing decision: free glossy booklets featuring the Great Poets. Who else would have thought that would entice more people to pick up the newspaper? Who?

Getting My Geek On

I finally got hold of Alex Lloyd's third album, Distant Light the other day. It's the aural equivalent of me snuggling up in a blanket on a spring day: it's invigourating but also deeply comforting. However, most days I'm listening to Canadian band Alaska in Winter - their album continues to worm its way into my ears.

And most days I am passing time by harking back to my roots. My grandmother sews, knits, crochets, embroiders and works with paper; my mother crochets, works with paper and even writes songs; my uncle P. paints, does graphic design and builds small castles in his back garden.. you get the picture. We are a creative bunch. I can sew, knit, crochet, do calligraphy, work with paper, paint and dabble in photography with quite good results. Right now I crochet and am re-discovering my love for textiles, textures and multi-dimensional shapes. It is exciting to see something I have in my head suddenly begin to appear between my hands just through using a hook and some scrap yarn. Exciting, I tell you!

And then you get people who think of crocheting as a mathematical exercise. The Institure for Figuring has an entire subsite dealing with Hyperbolic Space. It's actually really damn cool:

We have created a world of rectilinearity. The rooms we inhabit, the skyscrapers we work in, the grid-like arrangement of our streets, the shelves on which we store our possessions, and the freeways we cruise on our daily commute speak to us in straight lines. But what exactly is a straight line? And how do such “objects” relate to one another?

This question, so seemingly trivial, lies at the heart of a conundrum that dates back to the dawn of the Western mathematical tradition. Though seemingly obvious, the property of “straightness” turns out to be a subtle and surprisingly fecund concept. Understanding this quality ultimately led mathematicians to discover a radical new kind of space that had hitherto seemed abhorrent and impossible.