Persian tiles completed!

Detail on crochet tile

The Persian Tiles crochet blanket is finally done.

By the numbers:

  • 1 false start with wrong colours
  • 10 days waiting because I misjudged the amount of teal and blue wool needed
  • 2 seasons of The Mentalist watched
  • Approx 100 hours of time spent
  • Approx 3000 yards of wool
  • At least 6 new skills learnt
  • 3 errors n the final piece. Which I am happy about. 1 will never be noticed, 1 was deliberate (I like an error that shows it is homemade) and 1 that was a genuine error. Non of them detract from the final piece at all.
  • Enormous satisfaction in finished product.

I learnt a great deal about crochet in this project. I also learnt a lot about pattern writing for someone who doesn’t necessarily have all the skills but wants to learn and just needs a little extra explanation in the pattern. I can definitely use this in my knitting patterns going forward.

I liked the project so much that there’s going to be more crochet in my future. Even if it’s only a border on a knitted shawl. The finished blanket is shown below after being steamed and blocked and is everything I hoped it would be. Prior to this I’d only ever done a crochet dishcloth! So feel free to try a ‘harder’ pattern. It is perfectly possible to create something amazing with a little patience and willingness to learn the new skills.

It’s so close (Persian Tiles)

My crochet experiment is nearly over. In the above photo you can see all the tiles laid out to double check everything was done. I am tickled that the Persian Tiles afghan is lying on my Turkish rug, but it is a busy photo! You’re seeing the afghan before blocking, borders and the crocheting together.

I’ve seen tiles in mosques in Turkey and Jordan. When the afghan is laid out I am transported to those buildings with their extraordinary and intricately tiled walls. I’m delighted with the way it has turned out.

Now I have a crochet pattern percolating in my head, which has come as a huge surprise to me. I love that I’ve been inspired by someone else’s pattern to create my own. It’s what makes doing fiber arts so fulfilling for me. I’m always hopeful that my own work will inspire someone else to think that they can give knitting a go and take them in a new direction.

In the next and final installment of Persian Tiles, I’ll be able to show the finished product, which will also show exactly how vital blocking your work is.

Plain Vanilla socks

Sometimes when I’m designing a sock I get all up in the complexity of something new or different. But when you start knitting socks a basic sock with a stocking stitch is a really good place to start and also provides you with a great hardwearing sock.

I have been trying to finish my Persian Tiles afghan but have been stymied while I wait for a little bit of additional wool. It’s been frustrating as all I want to do is finish the afghan and put it together and then be gleeful about it. Instead I’m looking at a half finished triangle mournfully. So I tried to pick up a different project. But nothing was appealing to me. I have 5 projects on needles and not one was speaking to me. I needed something I wanted to do that wouldn’t take very long. Vanilla socks to the rescue!

I petted the yarn in my stash and found some lovebird yarn. Two small skeins dyed in wood duck colours. One male (so bright, so colourful!) one female (muted browns) but with brilliant pops of pink and blue. Aha! So I am doing two socks. One female with a male heel and one male with a female heel. As I’m knitting I’m remembering that sometimes you want a plain pattern that shows your yarn off to amazing effect.

The yarn is from the amazing Songbird Fibres. I’m halfway through sock 1 and can’t wait to see what happens with sock 2.

Far over the misty mountains cold

I got this beautiful yarn for Christmas from Dragon Hoard Yarns as an advent calendar. It took me this long to take a photo and stop admiring them. I’ve added them to the hoard while I work out what will show these glorious skeins off to their best advantages. In the meantime I’ll just take them out of hoard and murmur my precious over them occasionally.

For yarn dyers out there. Please do yarn advent calendars. I am ready to impulse buy all of them (budget allowing).

Persian Tiles #2

I’m really enjoying this piece of work. It is finally coming together and I can see the end. I worked the first tile through and learnt along the way. Then 15 tiles with each round done at the same time. Here’s the progress breakdown.

You can see the first 4 rounds completed here. It looks pretty messy, but I was just happy that I’d worked out how to do the triple crochet. New skills! After this, things slowed down. The rounds got bigger and those fans take a lot longer than I thought they would.

Next blue and another new skill with the triple crochet together. Look at all those yarn ends though.

Once I’d done the fan section I was drowning in yarn ends. So I spent New Years Eve happily with a glass or two of wine and sewing them in and snipping them off. The final pile was very satisfying and I say this a someone who hates the instruction weave in ends. Worst part of a project always. But practically painless for this one.

And here’s where I’ve gotten to.  Too bright you say – hah!  Just wait.  It’ll be glorious. At the top is the 1 finished tile. In the middle the tiles with the darkest teal and at the bottom the tiles awaiting darkest teal. Will update once I get to the navy and white rounds. So close!

Mistletoe and Wine

Well wine-coloured yarn anyway. I got my beautiful Christmas yarn from DragonHoard Yarns today. Love it. But now I have a dilemma. Do I make amazing socks for me or an amazing Christmas stocking for Nutmeg.

Note: both options will be amazing, it’s just a question of giving or keeping for myself. Decisions, decisions. Good thing I’ve got lots of time to work out what I want to do as it will be my 2021 Christmas project

In the meantime – look at that yarn! Not only are the colours gorgeous but it also has amazing hand feel. It is soft and strong with no scratchiness from the gold sparkle. Also the gold sparkle is everywhere! Hard to really capture on the camera, but it’s all over the yarn!

Persian Tiles Blankets

I did the first tile on this blanket in full so that I can understand the pattern. But since then I’ve been doing the remaining 15 large tiles in groups. This is the perfect pattern for that. Each round is a different colour and there is something marvelous about watching them grow! It took a day and a half to get to the navy blue.

Next day! Onto a delicious teal. What will tomorrow bring?

Cathedral Grove Scarf

This scarf is a delicate marvel. It’s so light you barely know it’s there but there’s strength in the delicate beauty. In a laceweight alpaca this scarf is warm and soft.

Inspired by the first time I saw Cathedral Grove on Vancouver Island one Easter when the snow was still on the ground and the trees towered above us. There are two lace stitches, a traditional Shetland fir cone pattern and a simple lace edging which evokes the snow amongst the trees. The sample is going to someone special but you can make your own soon. Pattern release date is January 2021.

If you are ever lucky enough to be driving to a holiday in Tofino on Vancouver Island, stop in Cathedral Grove. It is truly spectacular.

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Lace patterns – what was I thinking?

Things I like: knitting intricate lace with long repeats.

Things I don’t like: writing out said long repeats, charting said long repeats. Checking for errors.

Why did I do a wrap with a 34 stitch repeat over 24 rows in the pattern?

Because I didn’t really think the writing of the pattern through. And because – it’s so pretty, it looks amazing and it isn’t hard to knit, as long as you use the stitch markers as recommended. But writing it out is painful.