Lutter Idyl Inspired Afghan

2015-01-09 13.12.00I will admit that I am partial to a little bit of Scandinavian design and Lutter Idyl is a Danish crochet blog that I go back to time after time. I love the quality and simplicity of her work and the clean, contemporary designs. I will also admit that find that I often have to search through a lot of crochet designs that are really not my taste (too frilly, too fussy, too much everything) in order to find things that I like. In comparison Lutter Idyl is a like breath of fresh, crisp Nordic air. 

My Danish has become a little a little rusty (ahem) recently, so I use Google translate with reasonable success. It can be amusing (‘pattern’ translates as ‘recipe’ for example) but you get the gist of it. 

This is the afghan that I was inspired by…

And this is my version, minus the stylish, moody riverside location… and I fear that my photography falls short somewhat.

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I am very pleased with it. It is a shameless copy and I can take no credit for the design but I am delighted with the finish and the seaming technique (detailed on her blog) which gives a totally flat and neat join between squares. It is made in 100% aran wool of various brands. I tried hard to find the turquoise in the original design but I just couldn’t find it at the right price. The sky blue that replaces it works well with the cream, grey and navy. I very rarely use pink but I love the bright pops of colour.

A big thanks to Jeanette Bogelund Bentzen for the inspiration and a brilliant eye for design.

Ahhh, I was just looking at her blog again to find the links and came across this beauty! Another one to add to the list. This shawl is also reminiscent of some designs by Stephen West at westknits. I will save that one for another time….

TipTørklæde Shawl, Jeanette Bogelund Bentzen

My Grandmother’s Crochet

2015-01-22 16.29.36It’s a story for another day but we are currently building an extension to my parents house for our little family to live in. In the process we had to move the Welsh linen press which is one of the only antiques that we inherited from my grandmother (Mamgu to me) and which came originally from the family farm in the stunning Preseli Hills. Carefully stashed inside and rarely disturbed are boxes of wonderful photos of severe, black-clad welsh baptists in their sunday best and other precious things from a forgotten time including a hand-stitched baptismal gown, fine lawn handkerchiefs and…her box of unfinished crochet. 2015-01-22 16.27.34   2015-01-22 16.28.31 Mamgu was a fine knitter and crocheter and made classic crochet lace table cloths, doilies and edged her best cotton pillow cases. I remember the table cloth vividly, it was always placed over the polished oak dining table and removed at meal times.

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My grandparents on their wedding day
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Mamgu (Phoebe Eluned Gibby) with her family, she is in the middle with the ribbons in her hair

There is something very poignant about a craft item left unfinished. I don’t know what she was making but it looks like the centre of a doily or motif for a table runner or table cloth. It is also incredibly fine work in very fine mercerised cotton thread. I can’t imagine having the patience for anything so delicate. I often find similar doilies and antimacassars in charity shops in unloved fusty piles; the amount of skill and love that went into them long forgotten. She did try to teach me crochet once, I was probably about nine and I got as far as making a chain. I think that, although I was a keen sewer and cross-stitcher at that age, I didn’t really understand the point of crochet. After all, who wants to make old ladies doilies, and what is a doily for anyway? It took me more than 20 years to pick up a hook again and I like to think that she would have been proud of me. I don’t think I will ever make a doily though, I still don’t really know what they are for. Perhaps they have been reincarnated in the recent fashion for crochet mandalas, surely these are colourful, decorative doilies for our post-colonial times.

Mandalas for yarndale
Mandala by Karin aan de haak