Inspiration hunting

I’ve been pondering today on inspiration and where it comes from. Like a lot of crafters, I’m always on the lookout for new inspiration for projects. Instagram and Pinterest are great sources – I hoard pictures of crochet and knitting patterns on Pinterest. Again, I’m sure that’s not unusual.

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But I was thinking today about why it is that I’ll pick on one particular thing and think, ‘yes, that’s what I want to do‘. What I mean is, we’re all exposed to a deluge of information every day – just taking images as an example, think how many you might see in your average day – not only what you see in the world of online – other blogs, Pinterest, Instagram, websites, magazines, but things you see in the world around you, at home, work, out and about. How do you decide what to pay attention to and what to ignore without getting in to a state of collapse? I think a lot of it must be subsconscious – after all I know I don’t actively stop and consider every little picture of piece of information that passes my way. I also know that I hone in on certain things, sometimes without really thinking about it or even noticing it. Then I’ll step back and see a pattern.

I find this often happens with colour. I’ll start to feel a little bit haunted by a particular colour or colour combination and then suddenly seem to see it everywhere. This week for example, it’s aqua and a sort of pale warm pink shade. I think this pre-occupation with blue-green and pink started a little while ago while I was working on my ripple blanket. Since then, even though I’ve been making things in other colours I keep being drawn back to that combination. I’ll have to find a way to get it out of my system by making something else!

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I’m interested to see if there is any way that I can use this subconscious tendency of mine to gravitate towards certain colours at certain times – maybe I can try and use it to be a little more organised in my colour choices for future projects. I tend to be fairly instinctive in my colour choices and don’t put too much thought into it before hand. As a result I’ll often feel that I have one colour in a project which seems like a bit of an odd one out, and I wonder why I’ve chosen it. I know other bloggers have written about their processing of choosing colours before – for example Lucy from Attic 24’s posts about her yarn pegs. I’m in awe of the amount of effort that Lucy puts into planning her projects, but I don’t think I could make that work for me. I think having a selection of many colours in front of me makes me feel too pressured – I need something to narrow it down with first.

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How do you work out your colour combinations and inspiration? Do you think about it consciously or is it more instinctive?

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Summery ripple throw

Finally I have managed to finish something! It feels like an extra achievement as it is a large something too. Yup, yesterday I stitched the final stitches and weaved in the final trailing ends on my ripple throw. It doesn’t really have a name, but the colours seem very summary to me so…summery ripple throw it is.

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I blogged about making this throw a little while ago, with details of the yarns I used, so I won’t repeat myself again here. I also mentioned before that I haven’t historically been a fan of Stylecraft Life, but I have to say that the experience of making this blanket and using the yarn again has really changed my mind.

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Having reached the end of this blanket and feeling very pleased with the result and value for money, I think I am a convert to the Stylecraft way, especially Stylecraft Life. I did use a combination of Stylecraft Life and Stylecraft Special – Life being a wool mix DK and Special being 100% acrylic. Somewhat to my surprise as I am a big fan of using natural fibres as much as I can, I really preferred the Stylecraft Special. Strangely I found the Life DK to feel a bit thinner than the Special, and overall I preferred the Special texture – it seemed to be more felty, and slightly thicker which I like for the purposes of making a blanket. Also I think Special comes in a larger range of colours than Life, which is good as I find I am becoming very picky in my colour choices and combinations!

That brings me on to the other big plus point of Stylecraft Special which is the huge colour palette. I only used a handful of the selection available in this project, but I have totally fallen in love with some of the colours. I particularly loved the new ‘Duck Egg’ and ‘Storm Blue’ shades, but also the neutrals in Parchment, Cream and Silver. I suspect these colours will feature in many future projects.

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I’ve been really happy with the colour choices I made for this project – I think the overall effect is soothing with a few shots of bright colour in the pinks and Sage green that just perk the whole thing up. Looking at it makes me think of summer seas with the blue-green colours and a lovely sunset above with the pinks and greys. I think another reason for my not falling totally in love with Stylecraft Special when using it before was that I had only really used the brighter shades. There aren’t any yarn shops near me that stock Stylecraft so I always had to choose shades and buy online, which is not great if you want to be picky about colour like me. For whatever reason in the past I somehow didn’t manage to pick my colours very well, resulting in my overall impression of the available shades on Stylecraft Special being that they were all a bit harsh and bright for my taste.

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However, this time I think I can safely say I got it right for my taste! I also now have a better idea of which other shades in the brand I am likely to like, so I’m already planning another blanket project.

Altogether I am dead chuffed with the result on this one, please forgive me if I sound a little braggy! Oh yeah, and apologies for the slightly blue-ish light in the photos – the light here is pants at the moment, the sun is not to be seen (whatever happening to Flaming June?!).

Now where is that tiny squares cushion I started….

 

p.s. This is not a sponsored post, I just wanted to share my new found Stylecraft love!

A spot of colour, London style

Once again technology has been against me and the result has been an enforced break from blogging. This time it was my laptop that decided to die last Sunday. So I’ve had a week away from all things online at home, which is probably no bad thing.

While I’ve been away, we’ve had some birthday celebrations, which has meant a couple of fun days out around London, visiting some of our favouriate haunts. One of these is the Picture House Central cinema on Shaftesbury Avenue. It’s hands down the best cinema I have ever been to, and I really love the way they have set everything out inside. There decor is sort of industrial-chic, with a lot of large neon signage. Does anyone else get a little hypnotised by colour-changing signs? I always have to stand there and watch them go through all their different colours.

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It also meant a chance to pop into Foyles bookshop on Charing Cross Road. You can’t beat a book shop, and I’m glad there are still some bricks and mortar book shops around, despite the rise of the ereader. I’m a die hard fan of the printed page. I loved the colourful book displays in Foyles, so thought I would share those too:

 

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I really need to start taking my camera around with me. The photos above were all taken with my camera phone, and I can really see the drop in quality compared to even my compact camera. Phone cameras just don’t perform well in low light.

So apart from gadding around town, I’ve just been up to the usual. My ripple throw is nearly finished after a final push, so hopefully I can share some snaps of that next time.

Have a good Monday!

 

Catching up

I didn’t mean to be away so long, but our broadband has been broken since last week…and then I didn’t want to just post another ripple blanket progress post either! The ripple is the only thing I’ve been working the last two weeks or so. I’m quite please with the way it’s coming along…still a way to go though. Maybe a finished object in another two weeks!

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Working on the ripple hasn’t stopped me doing a lot of daydreaming about other potential projects though. The list in my head and in my notebook just keeps getting longer. I really wish I could just focus on one thing at a time, but I don’t think I am built that way…I’m like a grasshopper.

So I’ve been…

…inspiration hunting…

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…colour matching…

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…Oh, and I forgot there was also another slight doily attack…

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I’m not sure which colour combination I prefer on these, and sort of think I haven’t hit the nail on the head in either of them. The one on the left is cream, pale pink, yellow and dark brown and the other is a sort of biscuit shade along with the same pale pink, yellow and brown. At first I thought it was the cream shade that was wrong – it seemed to stark and white against the pale pink. But then after my second attempt, with the biscuit colour in place of the cream, I think maybe it’s the pale pink that’s off, and both would work better with a brighter pink. I have a sort of mid-pink shade which might work, so there might be a third…if I can put down the ripple for long enough to make one.

My day dreams have mostly been about knitting. I had a trip to the haberdashery department at Liberty’s at the weekend, and came back with not one but two Rowan pattern books. A sweater from one of these is definitely next on my list after the ripple…the only problem is deciding which one!

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I think I’m all caught up for now. Happy Wednesday everyone!

Spring days

 

Hope you all enjoyed the nice weather over the Bank Holiday weekend – or managed to enjoy the weekend if you didn’t have either good weather or a Bank Holiday where you are!

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We had a really glorious day weather wise on Sunday, so S and I went for a stroll through the local neighbourhood and a nearby heath and park.

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I’m feeling a bit of a pull towards bright colours again at the moment…I have ideas for a project…

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I really love the pink of these tulips…

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In the mean time, despite my best efforts to focus on finishing my tiny squares cushion, I gave way to some instant gratification crochet at the weekend…

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It’s been a long day, so I’m off to put my feet up with some tiny crochet squares…see you soon.