Welcome to the world of the weavies. These are small crochet circles with twelve holes round the edge. By threading yarn through the holes in various combinations of straight lines, you can make all sorts of patterns. Little woolly works of art.
In case you're thinking "looks a bit like Spirograph to me", well you'd be right. Want to see my new toy?
This was one of my favourite toys as a child (although my set was much more basic than this one), even though the patterns were frustratingly hard to do. Guess what? They still are. I'm not quite sure why I thought it would be a good idea to get a big set with fancy pieces this time round as it's all I can do to cope with the basic wheels and rings.
Having said that, I have found a few things to help. Following the advice on Spirographic Art, I replaced the blu-tack (which in turn replaced the original pins) with rare earth magnets and a thin sheet of metal. You put the metal sheet under the paper and the magnets, which are very strong, hold the rings in place.
The other thing that's improved in the Spirograph world since the 1960s is pens. Actually, the ones that come with it work pretty well.
But I couldn't resist an excuse to go pen shopping. I've found that Papermate InkJoy gel pens work really well for drawing the patterns and I use Staedler Triplus Fineliners for colouring them in.
|My only attempt at layered patterns so far|
I hadn't really thought about using the patterns for colouring before but it's fun - even if some of the shapes are ridiculously intricate.
Should you be wondering (and I only know because I looked it up), the grown-up name for Spirograph patterns is hypotrochoid or epitrochoid patterns. The ones you do inside the ring are the hypotrochoids and the outside ones are epitrochoids. So now you know.
Anyway, back to the crochet. No danger of your pen slipping with these. The crochet part is pretty basic really - a few rounds to get to the right size, then a round of eyelets to take the weaving yarn. I finished them off with a nice crab stitch border, not that you can really see that here.
You'll have to take my word for it when I tell you that it gives them a fluted edge, reminiscent of jam tarts (or maybe that's just me). The patterns range from simple ...
... to the slightly more complicated.
Now I got a bit carried away with this whole project and ended up making 24 of these little things - three each of the eight designs I came up with. You may be wondering what on earth I'm going to do with them all. Well, I've made a little mat with seven of them and two lots of bunting.
Oh yes, and I made a big one too, with 24 holes instead of 12; I particularly like that one.
Now it may be that I'm the only person who wants to make this sort of thing but - just in case I'm not - I've turned this whole adventure into a very long pattern and you can download it here. I've included instructions for the eight patterns I did but you could design your own too.
What with these and my venture into knitted stones recently, I think it might be time for me to design something a bit more practical. I do enjoy working on the weird stuff though.