Craft in the Garden

09/09/2017 · 1 comment

in Crochet,Garden

Very occasionally I get interviewed by a magazine or a website and they ask me what other hobbies I have. Well it is not so easy to fit in much beyond my many hours with the crochet hook. But when stressed and needing to clear my head I will most often disappear into the garden.

Our garden is not huge, but it is large enough to have broad range of flowers and shrubs and a happy place to eat and play. It can be no surprise that my crafty making has rather crept into the outdoor space.

Each year we have a little summer gathering for friends. The bunting, the blankets and the garlands come out of storage and we enjoy changing our space from basic back garden into a festival space. You can have a quick look at previous years here and here.

emma-varnam-felt-flowers

This year my super crafty friend Gemma made me some very pretty felt flower hoops to hang in the trees. Utterly gorgeous and they matched rather well with a crochet mandala I had made earlier in the season. I had hoped to make a few more but ran out of time. I keep thinking that they must be more of a cross-over between our crafty world and the outdoor space.

crochet-mandala-emma-varnam

Coincidently a brilliant gardening blogger, Alexandra contacted me. She writes the amazing Middlesized Garden Blog. This blog is one of my very favourite Sunday morning reads and over the years her hints and tips have greatly improved my plant care. Alexandra queried if I had ever crocheted with ‘plarn’. Essentially ‘plastic-yarn’.

She visited Spain this year and spotted some beautiful awnings and sunshades which create shade on the Spanish Streets. Essentially the locals make crochet mats out of upc-ycled plastic bags and then suspend these sunshades between the buildings to create colourful protection from the sun. The image she sent me peaked my curiosity and I began a journey of discovery of how people turn discarded plastic bags into mats and baskets. Please read her fabulous blog here

Here in Britain the plastic bag is becoming thankfully quite rare. I had to raid a forgotten stash to find some bags to experiment with. After a couple of hours I had made this plant container using some supermarket carriers. Don’t get me wrong, this is not easy work. Essentially I created a core strand of plastic bag and then made a long strip of plastic and crocheted round the core to create the spiral of the basket. Anyone who has worked with t-shirt yarn will tell you that your wrists to ache rather after a while and you can feel like you have done a few bouts of wrestling once your basket is finished.

Many people believe that working with thick yarn and large hooks should be easier than working with much thinner yarn. In fact it is much harder on the hands. But I cannot deny I had a lot of fun experimenting. I decided to sacrifice two bin bags to see how easy it would be to create a plastic granny square. I made a small mat quite easily but it would be lots more fun to collect a wide range of colours to create the most authentic granny square vibe.

This little experiment has got me thinking. Recycled plastic is impervious to rain and makes brilliant weather proof decorations. I think there maybe more projects to think about and there should be more crafty decoration in the garden.

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