Wednesday, 1 November 2017

Further Adventures in Yarn

Last month I went to the 5th Yarndale festival of all things woolly. If possible, it was better than the earlier years, as the logistics are managed with even more careful planning and the range of stalls on offer grows ever wider.

I felt a bit of a fraud, as I had entirely lost my crafting mojo in the crushing depression of last autumn and winter. I hadn't finished any of the projects I'd begun after last year's purchases, and they lurk in the other room, oppressing me with guilt whenever I see them. If I still had those things to finish, what business did I have shopping for new projects?

However, I hoped a nice wander around amongst the crafty women, surrounded by beautiful things in vivid colours would inspire me. If nothing else it would be a chance for my Very Excellent Mate Rachel to come for a visit.

I needn't have worried. A quiet train ride and chatty bus ride on the Yarndale Express built my excitement, as did the gloriously yarn-bombed show area. I love the bonkers souls who send in bunting, mandalas, flowers, sheep and hearts each year to turn an agricultural building into a Mecca of yarn and bright colours.  I did find my crocheted heart among the display somewhere.

There are so many people wearing their own creations; some are true works of art. Others resemble the output of fevered minds with access to too many colours, but at least they are happy. A sneaky game of "just because you can doesn't mean you should" keeps Rach and I entertained for hours. Crocheted granny square trousers were definitely a sartorial step too far.

I found loads of lovely things and small (ish) projects to try. I've had to crop the photo as there was a Christmas present amongst my purchases, so I can't show you absolutely everything.  I also held back from purchasing the *GREATEST* book of crochet patterns I've ever seen, the Toft book of crocheted people and costumes.  I knew I have no time to do that level of project just yet, but it was so brilliantly laid out I was sorely tempted.

I'm learning Corner to Corner crochet to to use one of the beautiful self-coloured yarns I couldn't resist. This proved to be a bit complicated - being left handed so having to reverse everything when I'm struggling to picture how it goes can sometimes send me into a tailspin, and I had to undo about a third of my work when I realised where I'd first gone wrong, making it bigger and bigger every row. Then I messed up the decreasing bit too much and had to redo another sizeable chunk, with fine yarn that snagged and broke. 

However, I think I've *finally* got a handle on it. The trick for a rectangular scarf is to chain 6 as you start a row from the top of the diagonal row and to slipstitch and chain three when you start a row from the bottom of the diagonal - increase as you go downhill, decrease as you go uphill, like riding a bike.

And here it is, modelled by its discerning owner: