Crochet class

Kit Châle l'Etole des Mers - Dune - Marie Claire Idée

Dune shawl – picture from L’oisivethe website

I’ve been inspired to take up crochet – as well as knitting.  In the past crochet has left me thinking, well…… ambivalent at best, but a few things nudged me towards a state of “like” and then there was the Dune shawl (L’ Étole des Mers).  This design hooked me, took me through the last loops of uncertainty and now I’m a crochet convert.  Dune was created by Cécile Balladino for L’Oisivethé and Marie Claire Ideas magazine and featured in Issue 97 in July 2013.  I love the way the design blends the colours and conveys a pretty, soft summery picture.  Every time I saw the shawl it made me think about the possibility of crocheting something, possibly in the colours of a rose garden.  I put that on my list of Knitting Year Goals.

Learning in action

Learning in action

As a follow on, Cécile and L’Oisivethé have collaborated to offer crochet classes at the tea salon.  I can crochet a little already – thanks to my Mum’s teaching – so the 2 and a half hour class was just the trick to augment my skills enough to make these pretty granny squares.

There were about 8 or 9 of us at the class, we had tea and cookies and scones and worked our way through the construction of the square, making the colour changes from one round to the next and transforming the circular pattern into a square in the last round.  It was all in French, which I could understand, although Cécile spoke English for me when I needed help.  Alongside me was a young American woman who spoke French fluently, so we confirmed crochet manoeuvres chatting in French and English as we went.  All in all it was a super way to spend Saturday morning and I made creditable first squares.

Starting rounds

Starting rounds


The round made square

The round made square






Our finished squares alongside Cecile's book and the Dune shawl

Our finished squares alongside Cecile’s book and the Dune shawl










I’ve crocheted a few more squares at home, following the pattern and the basic crochet stitch instructions in Cécile’s gorgeous book Crochet Bohème.  Somehow learning to crochet in French (ie listening and reading in French) has enabled me to “get it” this time.  Maybe it was the visual learning, or maybe I had to try harder, anyway it worked; I can repeatedly produce the granny squares.

Now I am in the process of selecting colours for the rose garden blanket.  I’ve got a few sorted and am trying out combinations to confirm the last few of colours.  These squares will be my interlude project – I always like to have a bit of variety, an interlude to other projects that are all one colour, or are not so transportable.

I’m happy that I’m making good progress on my Knitting Year Goals; the rose garden is underway, I’ve got a small bit of finishing on another project before I take pictures and give you a proper progress report.  À bientôt, I’ll post that soon.

Preparations for the rose garden blanket

Preparations for the rose garden blanket


10 thoughts on “Crochet class

  1. kiwiyarns says:

    I think the idea of a crochet shawl in the colour of a rose garden is gorgeous. I have been having the same vision for a knitted lace shawl, although it will be harder to accomplish as I’ll need to find the perfect yarn with the perfect dye job for it. Your shawl will be much easier to do – that’s where crochet is so good, you can use so many colours in a project and it looks amazing.

  2. keiryberry says:

    Thanks, I just hope the real thing turns out as pretty as the mental picture! A knitted shawl would be fabulous, very tricky to do. Although I am sure if anyone can you would be able to. Bon courage….

  3. derely jaye says:

    Hiya Keiry,   My creative juices are not as inspiring as yours, but flowing all the same. I am making gluten free shortbread. I have scored this nice little number of cooking this for a café in Lambton Quay (remember Wellington!?). Cafes mostly are picking up on the need for g/f food but I seem to be able to fill a niche here which is nice and earns me a little pocket money. Your blog is just lovely to read and such a great escape from all things ‘retirement’!! Loving it. Keep it up! Cheers Derely

    • keiryberry says:

      Hi Derely, good for you! You’re as full of energy as ever by the sound of things. Thanks for reading my posts, it’s lovely to hear from you.

    • Hello, interesting to read your comment to Keiry’s blog as a week ago I was hosting musicians who came to give a concert and the singer was needing not only gluten-free but also dairy-free so I had to do quite a bit of research. But in the end I didn’t even have to open the packet of rice flour I bought! For desserts we had “rochers congolais” (grated coconut, egg whites and sugar) and fresh figs off the tree and pâté de coings (quince paste) from two years back (it improves with keeping). (But as for shortbread for Monika… well, without butter it just doesn’t bear thinking about!)

  4. Good for you, Keiry, nice to read you. I missed this post and have only just found it, and will be going on to the Paris Metro (fully expecting to have the breath squeezed out of me!)

  5. What a lovely way to learn; my Grandma taught me as a child but sadly I’ve never used it which is a bit of shame

  6. L'OisiveThé says:

    It was lovely to read about your lesson at L’OisiveThé. I missed that day so it was nice to read. I love your idea of a Rose Garden for your version of Dune. It is going to be amazing. I look forward to seeing it. I know what you mean about Cecile teaching crochet. She got my hooked after one lesson and I crocheted the Babette blanket! 🙂 Keep on crocheting… see you at knitting night!


  7. […] little while ago after I took a crochet class with Cécile Balladino at L’Oisivethé, I wrote about my plan to crochet granny squares to […]

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