Because I only learnt to crochet properly last year I still feel very much that I am a "newbie" and am always rather taken aback when anyone assumes I will know the answer to a crocheting question. Even more taken aback when sometimes I know the answer! The lovely thing about being at this stage of experience is that I now know enough to be able to embark on making things I actually want or feel are good enough to give away as presents but I know there is still so much scope out there to improve and develop. There is a kind of peace in that balance. Right at the beginning I wasn't sure I could make anything that looked like the picture. Right at the beginning I couldn't! Sometimes I still can't! But slowly, bit by bit, more and more often, I find I can and it's hugely satisfying. I love the unexplored potential to develop this thing further though and am beginning to acquire a little collection of books of inspiration that will stretch and expand what I know and am able to make.
A little example is the book in the pic which a friend at Needles and Natter introduced me to:
What about this toadstool which is really a box?
Or this intriguing crocheted vase designed to hold pencils with crocheted daisy pencil toppers?
Or these little crocheted pebble boxes?
But the thing that really caught my eye and made me want to get stuck in was this:
Isn't it sweet?
You use a longer hook than a usual crochet hook in order to accommodate all the stitches. It sounds a bit complicated but there are instructions in the book and once I had got started I found it quite easy. Fascinatingly the fabric that Tunisian crochet makes, is quite different from ordinary crochet; it is much denser and thicker, making it perfect for projects that you want to use to cover something.
The instructions recommended using a tin but I don't get on well with tins - my tin opener is clearly not the safety kind and leaves a wickedly sharp edge when I remove the top. This is fine when the tin is heading straight for the recycling box but not when I am trying to revamp it with crochet, or anything else for that matter and I have a track record of cutting myself repeatedly in these circumstances. A better bet, I think, for this sort of project are those cardboard drums, of approximately the same dimensions as tins, that come with a very thin foil lining stuck to the inside and a metal base - more robust than plain cardboard but absolutely safe to mess about with, for the more accident-prone tittlemouse. Searching the larder for something suitable, I found this drum of Chai Latte which was a perfect size and shape for my purposes. In varying dimensions, cocoa, custard powder, dried skimmed milk and stock powder all come in these kinds of tubs in the UK.
The hooks are a bit scary looking:
The two grey metal ones I bought for this project - you need a slightly larger diameter one for the outer sleeve and a slightly smaller diameter one for the inside sleeve. The huge, long wooden one is an ancestral Victorian one, belonging apparently to my French great-grandmother, so clearly I am not the first in the family to try Tunisian crochet! A shame nothing survives that she made with it.
Anyway, armed and dangerous with the scary hooks, I sallied forth with the pattern and this is what resulted:
Isn't it fun? I love it!
As you can see, I used little wooden beads rather than embroidery for the cherries and the door handle on the house but otherwise, apart from omitting the handle for the pot which I didn't need, I followed Gina's pattern exactly as given. I love the fact that it involved a whole new technique that I managed to pull off without too much sweat and tears. Opens all sorts of doors for variations of one kind or another, methinks!
Here is the finished object in service in my kitchen holding the essentials of life - pencils, scissors, crochet hooks and my new knitting needles! All I need to keep my life on track together with my trusty chalk board for listing items for the next shopping list before they get forgotten! Sorry about the horrible kitchen surface - SO not my choice! - but pics of real life have to be real sometimes.
More of that in tomorrow's final Knitting and Crochet Blog Week post!
In the meantime, Happy Weekend, everyone!