Hidden Crochet Charm
If you are a designer too then you'll know that having the idea for a design is just the start of a process that takes months to complete.
And although you can share sneak peeks via social media, unless you are working in a collaboration it can also be a lonely process.
So I'm grateful in many ways for the support of my technical editor Karen!
The Blanket and Cushion are available in a kit form containing sustainable and naturally hand-dyed yarn from my Loch Ness Knitting Cafe Collection. They are also available just as patterns.
The inspiration for these two cosy home additions came from my previous role as a social worker. I worked with older adults and their families and was often involved in conversations about how to provided support at home. One of the topics that would crop up is supportive and stimulating equipment, from grab handles to sensory stimulation.
Various items would be suggested but I'd sometimes notice during a later home visit that the equipment or item was tucked away out of sight or hidden in a cupboard. As these items were designed to be useful and supportive I'd ask why.
The answers broadly fell into two types.
The first was that the person or their family member was trying to maintain dignity and privacy. Perhaps they had a new diagnosis, such as dementia and wanted time to process and address this in their own way. Having visible support equipment gave away their secret too soon.
The other reason was that couples and families had spent time lovingly choosing the design and interior of their homes. The equipment would arrive in garish, clashing colours that just wasn't compatible with the look. Over time as more and more equipment arrives a family home can look more like a hospital ward, and this is something that many would like to avoid, particularly if they had young grandchildren visiting.
So I had in my mind the seed on an idea to design something that was sensory stimulating and comforting but could also be adapted to an existing colour scheme.
And an item that was also discreet and beautiful enough that it could sit openly in a room.
This is the hidden charm of the textured cushion and blanket patterns.
They feature easy bobbles and tassels across the finished object that are tactile and soothing.
The tassel features are added at the end, so if you didn't want to add them, perhaps because of a pet or child, you can finish both designs without them.
One of my favourite all time quotes is from William Morris, who said that we should strive to
"Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful."
It's an approach that I've always loved and one that I've used in my creative approach for years.
I hope you enjoy my two new crochet designs and I'd love to see your finished projects.