Tuesday, 6 May 2014

At The Foot Of The Rainbow....

... is a crock of yarn with the colours left over from an afternoon's sky-painting just waiting to be used.

Just in case you didn't know! 

I love rainbow colours; either the authentic seven, in the right order of the spectrum, or stretched to encompass more shades and not in the right order at all, but with the same sweep and variety of colour that sings through rain-clouds and darkness, (literal or metaphorical).

Trouble is I've found that rainbow colours, as one gets older, somehow seem less easy to integrate into clothing, or home decoration without being a bit over the top, in my hands anyway. But every so often a little rainbow opportunity presents itself and when it does, it's lovely to go for it.

Wandering along the highways and byways of the Internet, (as you do when you have a tricky piece of work to write and feel that a change of screen-scene might help productivity!), I found a fabulous rainbow crocheted nightdress-case. Even better, I found a tutorial for how to make it. Have a look at Oran's post about it here on her blog, Misty Mountain.  All thoughts of my tricky piece of work were immediately temporarily shelved and the pages of the tutorial were printing  and a little rainbow-coloured-stash-gathering seemed suddenly and pressingly urgent before you could finish saying "crock of gold".

The original is made up in thinner yarn than I usually use, in the most fabulous colours. As luck would have it, a bit of delving around in my various bags and boxes, turned up quite a few colours in the right weight and a teensy weensy purchase was made to complete a full spectrum - sixteen colours in total. Just looking at the yarn was a treat and hooking every single row was a delight.

Rainbow projects have a feel-good factor in their production that simpler, subtler colour schemes can't compete with, I find.

I followed the pattern for the front of the case pretty much as per Oran's instructions although I used a slightly different range of colours and I distributed them a bit differently. But the lovely thing with this pattern is that it invites you to do just that and of course you can adjust the sizing etc too if you want. The original size is perfect for a nightdress case but, as Oran's tutorial shows, you can easily adapt it to make a Kindle or iPad cover. The flap in Oran's original, is part of a complete circle that sits over the back and front of the case but I just made a semi-circle which I hooked into the top edge of the back panel.

A little bit tricky to work out how to anchor each row in the right place but I got there in the end (after a bit of trial and error!).

I've lined the case with some leftover, pale, blue lining fabric and, instead of flowers, I added a decorative button, which also functions to secure the flap neatly in place on the front.

I'm pleased with this button. I wanted something a little bit unusual and decorative and none of the buttons in my button boxes and jars seemed quite right. So I made my own.

There's a great tutorial for this in Mollie Makes, Issue 23.

You use any old button as the base and just crochet a cover over the top. You do need to use a really thin hook and very fine yarn, though, or the effect is a bit clumsy and clunky. And a convex button makes a better base than a flat or concave one. I used a 2mm hook and some green No 3 DMC Crochet Thread.

Once covered, you can add a little embroidery. I added a few French knots in different colours, and then a few more!

I love it - it's unusual, decorative and functional. Unique to boot, as well as giving a new lease of life to a has-been, old button that has seen better days.

I think the button, in fact, came off a 1960s raincoat belonging to my grandmother. Don't know what that black mark is but it certainly renders the button unusable in the normal way. But with a nice green crochet cover, it's a different story!

I had incorporated a button-hole into the final round of my semi-circle to allow for a button closure, although at the time I thought I'd just use a large, ordinary button. Fortunately crochet is forgivingly stretchy, as my homemade button is rather bulkier than the one I had anticipated using. But the corresponding button-hole in the (non-stretchy) lining fabric had to be much bigger - a good inch and three quarters / 4.5 cm long to accommodate the extra depth. Just a point to bear in mind, if you feel a little button-covering-crochet coming on!

Although the rainbow range of colours is a bit different from those in my first-ever crochet blanket, somehow it works OK with it.

And, perched on my pillow, it lifts my spirits every bedtime.

I recommend this as a therapeutic project for the soul!

Had a bad day? Cat been sick? Teenage angst and pre-exam tension filling the air and whatever you do or say is "wrong" because you're a parent and parents are always wrong? Work gone pear-shaped and stressing you up to the nines, even though you should have put it down several hours ago? Feeling too tired even to bother getting into bed and you might just fall asleep on your feet? Any, or all, of the above will seem less bad with this on your pillow! Trust me! I've tried it!

So thank you so much Oran for your beautifully clear tutorial and for sharing your wonderful inspiration!

Wishing you all crocks of yarn at the foot of your own particular rainbows and happy hooking!

E x

PS Apologies for including so many pics - I got a bit carried away, I am afraid, but I love the brightness and cheerfulness of them so much that I am leaving them in. Scroll through them quickly, if they're too much!


  1. Oh I am *swooning*! The colour! The design! I love everything about it! Your crochet is beautifully neat and perfect, the colour range you use is stellar! Thank you for sharing, I will definitely be looking up that pattern for some soul-soothing colour therapy...Chrissie x

  2. I don't blame you for getting carried away; that is one beautiful looking case! And I would be going to bed early and staying there were it mine!

  3. Your case is so clever and the colors are beautiful. Thanks for sharing.

  4. I watch for new posts from you and then read them through quickly and then slowly and then leave your site inspired!. Your blog inspired me to go back to crocheting (after more years than I admit to being alive in public) and I keep coming back to stay on track for improvement. I love your blog! Thank you!

  5. Wow, sheer bliss! The colours are divine, a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow everytime you go to bed. The button is adorable.


  7. You should get carried away, it is an amazing bag. I agree with you about the bright colors, sometimes they are cheery but hard to incorporate into your home. I also agree with you about the teenagers, not an easy time to be a Mom.

  8. Wow! What a feast for the eyes. You are right - there is something so absorbing in the way that all of the colours of the spectrum seem to meld and glow into the other - your eyes keep following the transition of colours and then coming back again in quite a hypnotic way. I do it myself with my own rainbow ripple blanket. The colours you've used are fantastic - really bright and spirited. (Also I love your phrase 'the highways and byways of the internet' - an apt image. My son came out with a great one too the other day - he said that he'd 'fallen down the internet rabbit hole'. Great how the English language evolves, isn't it?)

  9. so very lovely - I know what you mean about lifting the spirits - a high of colour - fab work E

  10. I'm really impressed - the colours are great.

  11. I have always loved rainbow colours, no matter what order they are in. I just love love love your night dress case. My baggy pj's would not fit I fear but such a case would make beautiful present for my darling daughter. I often get lost on the highways and byways of the internet. I am trying to remember what I did with my time before its existence. Have a lovely weekend. x

  12. Oh!!! That is just fabulous! What wonderful colours. I am so glad my pattern was follow-able.

    Thank-you for making me smile. :)

    And apologies for the delay in getting here. I have been back at work this week and it has been a tad hectic to say the least. And on Monday I fly to Madrid on business for 3 days. It seems so strange to be hunting out cropped trousers and sleeveless vests to take with me when it is pouring with rain here :)

    The baby shawl is complete so I will post pictures as soon as I can get enough light to take some.

    Thanks again for putting a huge smile on my face. O. xx

  13. The lighter weight yarn gives your bag such a dainty feel--even if the colors are bold. The yarn shows the stitch definition more than a heavier weight, too.

    I loved your paragraph about how having this bag will ease a catalog of stresses--even dealing with teenagers who are certain their parents are "wrong." Jonathan is a self-proclaimed expert on pet care, healthy diets, exercise, proper weekend activities for parents, etc. I'm trying to train myself to ignore him as much as possible! Hope you and your family are well.

  14. You have made my eyes so happy that I could burst into song!

  15. Don't apologise - your pictures are a total joy! x

  16. Ohhh, what an eye candy!! Wonderful ♥. And the button is too cute :-)
    Have a happy day! xxx Nata

  17. Crochet and rainbow colours just seem to go together. And your button is wonderful!

  18. Hello....so lovely full colorours your works all my compliments...I love your blog!!If you appreciate I ll wait in my blog!!Have happy week end!!

  19. adorable little bag..and the button so precious..... thanks for passing by in my blog, and wishing you a great hooking day!!!!!


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