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Archive for the ‘pilgrim’s palette’ Category

7b7: olivetti valentine typewriter

image by me

Olivetti Valentine Poster

Olivetti Valentine Poster
Olivetti Valentine Poster

egidio bonfante¬†images by ninonbooks’on flickr

…but you know the love of a good typewriter should be celebrated ¬†375 days a year


1. right at home!, 2. elleMay67colorlingeriespread-closet, 3. With Love from Burger King, 4. Cassie’s room 5, 5. Hot dog., 6. Amber, 7. groovy owl, 8. Dunkin’ Donuts, 9. granny, 10. Some Baby! Shoes Seventeen Mar 73, 11. Yellow Pages Party Pak Ad 1969, 12. vintage paint by number, 13. “BELOVE”, 14. And Who Doesn’t Want a Teen-Age Boy?, 15. Old 1970’s Pufnstuf 45 Record, 16. It’s A Small World Thermos Mary Blair

some of my current favorites and inspirations. i hope you like them too!

have a wonderful weekend and see you next week.

its exciting to think its nearly been a year since i learned to crochet. i never really considered it something i could do, i learned to knit in grade five and promptly forgot everything about it. my most experience with a ball of wool was making a pompom, and crochet just seemed so hard: there were foreign looking hooks and all those fancy lacy stitches that broke my brain. but after picking up pip lincolne’s meet me at mike’s book i felt like maybe i could try it. for once i didn’t have any fear about what the consequences might be, no one need know if i turned out to be the world’s worst ‘hooker’! you don’t have to be a perfect crocheter, in fact a bit of naivete is charming in a wonky handmade afghan granny rug! so i sequestered myself in the corner of the couch, and for one swearing-filled weekend i chained, and i unwound, and i chained again and unwound again. but by sunday night i’d made a little circle that looked like a blind-pull. shelley, the crochet genius at little sparrow helped me past the hurdle of working out how to properly hold my hook, and not even a week after i started learning i’d mastered a basic granny square.

the fruits of my labour: my bedroom throw-rug-in-progress

learning how to make a ‘granny square’ was like the rosetta stone of crochet for me. everything since then has been a variable on those basic stitches that make up the square. i can’t claim to be the world’s best crocheter, but i’m just happy to do it. i have a big problem with trying to attain perfection in just about everything i do and its very liberating to just sit down and muck about with wool. i’ve made a few hats, and a couple of soft toys but my major project is a sort of sampler throw rug for my bed. i’ve mastered a couple of patterns for squares and so now i’m trying out circles, and stars and triangles. i want my rug to look like the crochet equivalent of a patchwork crazy quilt. i love the idea of uneven edges, and each square being a different pattern and texture. what do you think?

keep trying, it will all fit together sooner or later

of course expert advice given in person is invaluable, but not all of us have the luxury of a crochet expert grandma, mother or even a patient craft store owner! so let me share some of the books i’ve used to help me through, and those that are inspiring me to gradually work more difficult patterns.

the book that started it all: meet me at mike’s by pip lincolne

meet me at mike’s: 26 crafty projects
pip lincolne

meet me at mike’s is really your value for money learner crochet book: if you suck at crochet there are a 25 other things to try your hand at! how’s that for self esteem boosting? and if the sewing doesn’t work out, make some pink lamingtons and buck yourself up with a sugar high. pip’s instructions are clear and easy to follow and those photographs of colorful afghans will whet your creative appetite and drive you to master a square so you can make a hundred more in varying colors!

got crochet questions? this book answers them and won’t tell anyone that you didn’t know

the crochet answer book
edie eckman

this would be your one stop shop for crochet trouble shooting and general education on wool etc. it promises “solutions to every problem you’ll ever face and answers to every question you’ll ever ask”. most crochet patterns i’ve seen generally explain what their abbreviations mean, but sometimes our feeble human brains fail and we forget what a half-double-crochet-ending-in-a-pike-followed-by-a-perfect-dismount actually entails. a discreet peek into this book will tell you. it will also explain why your circle is curling up into a yarmulke and how you can fix it, working with ‘challenging yarn’ (the crochet equivalent of having creative differences with your movie director) and many many more questions.

creative blocks banished with mix and matchability!

200 crochet blocks for blankets, throws & afghans
jan eaton

now you’ve mastered the basics and have a strong foundation in granny square 101, i bet you want to try something more don’t you? well as huey lewis told us, its hip to be square and i’ve never doubted the truth in mr lewis‘ theory. so try your hand at the squares in this book and i doubt you’ll end up with a ‘square’ or boring rug design. there’s texture, and interesting design a plenty and if you’re still stuck for ideas this book offers color and layout ideas too. no excuse for not making a rug after seeing this book!

it’s even hipper to move beyond the square. take that, squares!

beyond the square: crochet motifs
edie eckman

and here is the beauty i’m currently working through! if only there was a song about being hip to be things other than squares… but the shapes in this book are so good they don’t need a song. they have moved beyond the square and they speak for themselves. the color/shape coded layouts are very pretty and inspiring, and some of the patterns are mind blowing! if mandelbrot or snowflake patterns interest you, then have a look in this book and imagine the delicate scarves, or embellishments you could create. just thinking about them is making my crochetin‘ hands itch!

are you thinking of learning to crochet or just starting out? if you’re starting and finding it hard i really urge you to keep it up. who knows when that door will unlock and it will all make sense to you and then you can revel in that feeling of cruising through a granny square. to me, crocheting now feels like swimming. its graceful and meditative and of course that insufferable feeling of self satisfaction is pretty unbeatable!

patchwork header

second installment of pilgrim’s palette and its not even a color! but why choose one color when you can have them all? so here is my salute to patchwork. patchwork appeals to me for so many reasons, yet it’s one of the few crafts i dare not try. i know my lack of patience and less-than perfect sewing skills will compromise my end result so i don’t even start. but the concept of patchwork is enough of an inspiration to me and so my fabric stash lives to spend another day alone in the cupboard, but my artwork is quickly becoming something a pioneer woman might be proud of. you’ll have to wait and see what i mean, but for today, lets enjoy some traditional patchwork.

<span class=
from the golden hands encyclopedia of crafts

as one of my beloved ‘golden hands’ books says, “patchwork is a truly sentimental craft which has always been connected with sharing and neighbourliness… the fabric of patchwork will often conjure up a score of memories – a scrap of the first dress you ever sewed, a piece of the blouse that never looked right with anything – reminders of friends and family.” don’t you love that image above this paragraph? the warm golden light in that picture makes me ache for childhood camping trips. obviously, i’m a big sucker for nostalgia, but i also love the haphazardness of patchwork. i strongly believe in the adage that “if a little is good, then a lot must be better” especially where pattern is involved. gingham and floral? yes please! stripes and spots? you better believe it!

patchwork bag

from the golden hands encyclopedia of crafts

and have a look at the textures in this bag: cotton, corduroy and i think some velvet. even though i prefer my patchwork more colorful, i rather like the washed out charm of this bag. i think it could be holly hobbie’s overnight bag, don’t you think?

patchwork blanket

from the golden hands encyclopedia of crafts

i really like this blanket. the combination of the wholesome gingham and the far out florals and paisley really does it for me. having said that, my favorite patchwork is hexagonal. i can’t explain it, i guess i’m drawn to the slightly more unusual shape. of course the fact that hexagonal patchwork is just that bit more complex than square patchwork is another reason why me + sewing a patchwork blanket will never = friends. but as long as the hexagonal shape tool in adobe illustrator exists, at least some of my patchwork lust will be sated!

it might be an odd thing to say, but i worship color. do you feel like this too? it has such a profound effect on me, when i’m dressing or when i’m working, sometimes i feel a bit like an alchemist. its powerful stuff, this! take some teal, add a dash of rose and a pinch of black – not too much! and voila! the magical combination of colors equal something new and greater than the parts. its power can turn your mood around or evoke memories.

i love that, perhaps more in childhood, our favorite colors help to define us. though i go through phases of staunch loyalty to a certain shade, ultimately i’m a fickle color tart! a year of red, then a season of green, a month of teal… while loving these colors i can’t fathom why anyone would love another color, “how could you possibly like purple” i’d wonder, “it certainly isn’t blue!” and then a month later all i want is to surround myself in purple. (its probably just as well i don’t follow sport, can you imagine the scorn i’d attract for changing my allegiances like this!?)

my color fetish lately is yellow. for such a long time, a true appreciation of yellow elluded me. yellow just seemed so sickly, and ew! yellow snow! being of an english rose complexion it had certainly never entered my wardrobe. but gradually it entered my home, and my heart.

its just so sunny and joyful! but in the right context there is a sophistication to it, and i think that was what i had missed previously. so to celebrate it, in (some of) its shades, here are some outfits that -if i could pull it off without looking ill – i would definitely rock some mellow yellow.

how do you feel about yellow? is it welcome in your home or wardrobe?

fab fabrics
I’ve been playing in the Vintage Fabrics flickr pool. Come on in, the water is… floral!