Thursday, 30 April 2015

An Ombre Wall Hanging

Goodness, what a wonderful glimpse into homes around the world you gave me with your tales of what you can hear from your open windows! Hawaiian birdsong, Canadian Geese, American train whistles, church bells, chattering swans, croaking frogs, boat masts clinking in the wind, owls, tractors, even power stations - so evocative, all of it, thank you so much. And thank you for sharing your rituals too, with me and with each other. The conversations and comments made me smile. We are all very similar, it seems.


Now, I have another question for you: how do you pronounce the word "ombre"? I am quite confused - I thought is was a one syllable word and that the "e" on the end was completely silent, but I have since heard it pronounced "om-brer" to rhyme with "somber", "om-bray" and "om-bree". However you say it, l like it very much, and I have a ombre wall hanging to show you today. 


I am completely delighted with this little project because, as well as liking the look of it, it marked a crochet achievement for me. I finally mastered the crocodile (or scale as it's also known) stitch. I tried this last autumn and just couldn't get the hang of it, but after looking at this great tutorial I sat down and had another go and, for some reason, this time it clicked and I was off. I love, love, the shape of the scales, the way they lie on top of each other, the way you can quite quickly create a piece of fabric with so much depth and structure. 


Once you're done the foundation chain and get going it's actually a lot easier than it looks and I really want to work with this stitch again. I have a feeling it would look brilliant as a bag, perhaps a big clutch with wooden handles. 

I had an idea that I wanted to make something for the blue wall in our bedroom, something like a wall hanging, and upon looking in my stash of cotton yarn I realised that not only did I have a lot of blue, it was the right blue for the wall. I had a good range of shades and they looked really nice running from dark to light, and so the ombre seed was planted. 


I really don't like it on the blue wall. I don't know why but it just doesn't work for me. Too much blue. It's lost at sea.


It definitely works better for me on a paler background. It's actually hanging in our hall at the moment but I think I may move it again. 


I had a bit of a conundrum working out how best to hang it. It needed something straight along the top to stop it bending and flopping everywhere, something the size and length of a crochet hook, really. After much rummaging and experimenting the perfect thing turned out to be a wooden skewer like the kind you'd use for kebabs on barbecues. 


I sawed off and sanded the pointy end and just inserted it along the top row, behind the stitches, wrapping yarn tightly around each end to keep it in place.


I love looking at this and I enjoyed making it which counts for a lot too. It was quite a fast make once I got going, maybe a week or so. I really want to make more of these. Imagine, a white wall covered in ombre wall hangings in all different colours! Oh my word, I want to do that right now.

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For those who like to know such details, I used a 3 mm hook and I think most of the yarn was Rico Essentials cotton (which I like a lot as it comes in a cracking range of colours and has a nice, subtle sheen to it) with maybe some Annell cotton in there too. Also, the blue wall paint is Princeton Blue by Valspar and the off-white is Heathcliff's Castle by Crown. Aren't paint names just ridiculous?


36 comments:

  1. That is so cool! I've never tried that stitch. It looks hard. I should check out the tutorial and give it a try. Thanks for that link. I really like the colors you used and the way they blend into each other. I would pronounce the word "om-ber" but I know that here the word "sombre" is used a lot in building names, it means shadow in Spanish, and people usually say "som-bray." I love the paint names, how funny. We've been searching for exterior paints lately and the names crack me up.

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  2. Amazing Gillian, you always have the most fab ideas. I love that stitch but haven't yet got up the gumption to try it but I really must after seeing your amazing wall hanging.
    RedSetter
    Ps I 'think' I pronounce it om-brreh with a soft e and even softer h similar to 'Ombre Mai Fu' but this might be a collision of that piece and my own local accent....!

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  3. It's absolutely lovely and you must be quite pleased to accomplish this darling piece. I love the colours and it looks great where it's displayed. :)

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  4. It's beautiful ! In french "ombre" is pronouonced with the "e" at the end like "ombrrrr" and "ombre" means darkness or shadow....

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  5. Your wall hanging is really pretty - love that stitch ! I haven't tried it yet, but like you say, could be a very nice stitch for a bag/tote/clutch... I see something hippy-ish in my mind :-).. Good idea !!
    About "ombre" - I think your confusion comes from the fact that it seems to have lost its accent when introduced in English... It is derived from French, where ombré is the past participle of the verb "ombrer"- to cast shade. So ombré means "shaded". If you would say "ombre" with silent e at the end, it means "the shade". (Oh my, now I really feel like a school teacher ...;-)))

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  6. That is so pretty and the crocodile stitch is very impressive. It looks lovely on the white wall echoing the blue one. I think I'd go with the French pronunciation recommended above - like the ending of Septembre. I can't wait to see your hangings multiply; a whole wall of them would be amazing! Have a great Bank Holiday. xx

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  7. That's gorgeous, just my colours. Crocodile stitch is on my to-learn list. I have a photo somewhere of it done in a variegated yarn and I just happen to have some :-) Might have to move it up my list now having seen your lovely hanging. x

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  8. You always come up with such cracking ideas lovely Gillian! It's truly stunning and a gorgeous stitch.
    Your home is looking so wonderful too x
    Happy long weekend
    love Jooles x x x

    P.S I thought it was pronounced 'Om-bray' but I generally pronounce most things wrong so don't listen to me!! x

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  9. Perfectly matching colours, I like it!
    As for the correct pronouncisation - well, that depends on the language, doesn't it :-)
    In Italian, ombre is the plural of ombra which means shade or shadow. The "e" at the end sounds just like the "e" in the word "best".
    In French, ombre also means shadow/shade, but the ending sounds different from the Italian one; "smaller", more "closed", almost inaudible.
    I don't know where from the English use of the term "ombre wall hanging" comes - probably French? - I am not sure how exactly would one pronounce it correctly.

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    1. Here in the UK it's commonly used to describe something (a hair style, a fabric, a pattern) with a gradual move from light to dark or "shade". I think this is quite a recent way of using the word but don't quote me on that!

      I'll continue to pronounce it the French way, as a one syllable word with the barely perceptible E. Thank you.

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  10. Congratulations on mastering the Crocodile! Makes a lovely wall hanging. Definitely looks better on the paler wall.
    Jacqui xx

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  11. I love this too and you are right, it does look so much beget on the pale background. The Blue just swallows it up and doesn't do it one bit if justice. I think it would be a great stitch for a cushion cover too. I love different stitch finishes for cushions and this would be very tactile.
    Rosie

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  12. That's so pretty, the colours are lovely. I've never been sure how to pronounce that word correctly but have plumped for om-bray, assuming (probably wrongly) an adjective with an invisible accent over the 'e'.

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  13. In the 70s we used to pronounce it "ombray" as if the final 'e' had an acute accent. But I have a sneaking suspicion that this was just a bit of franglais. The word ombre means shadow in French. Certainly a skirt that one had dip-dyed to create a gradual shaded effect was known as an ombre (acute accent on the 'e') skirt. I think your wall-hanging is fabulous, definitely a stitch to try and yes wouldn't it look great made up into a bag with chunky wooden handles. Just the accessory for an ombre flounced skirt worn with clogs and a simple crochet shell top.

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  14. I have tried to master the art of knitting but it's just not for me, I can't do it but its a lovely piece you have made. Where is your lamp from? I have a duck egg blue headboard from www.decur.co.uk and your lamp would really compliment my room

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    1. Hello. I bought it from Mibo about 8 years ago. (http://www.mibo.co.uk/) I have a few of their lampshades. Sadly it doesn't look as though they make them anymore.

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  15. Your ombré wall hanging is beautiful! Oops just noticed my predictive text added a little accent over the final 'e' so I shall leave it there as my contribution to the pronunciation discussion! Blue is a colour I have struggled with for interiors, but your use of it is really making me look afresh at the possibilities. It looks so good in your house! X

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  16. Cool design Gillian and good for you for trying something new - and mastering it!

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  17. It's gorgeous Gillian, what beautiful blues, and such a lovely texture. How lucky that you had just the right shade. I think I'd plump for om-bray, especially if it has an acute accent over the e, but that's just a guess really. CJ xx

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  18. Very impressive, I expect it's a very tactile stitch too! x

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  19. As Ingrid said. Single syllable ombre is a shadow or shade, ombré is shadowed, which is the effect you have in your hanging (pronounced ombray, sort of). The accent on the e got lost in translation and caused confusion!
    There are a number of words consistently wrongly used/pronounced in English/American which drive me mad - riders talk about a ménage (household) when they mean a manège (riding area) and hardly anybody pronounces lingerie properly: it's more like "lanjeree" not "loungery" or "loungeray"!!
    Sorry, as a translator, these things are noticeable to me, though I will happily agree it's not really that important ;o

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  20. Amazing work! And it fits into the room very well!

    Here in Germany, I pronounce Ombré like "Om-Bre". The sound in the end is a bit French sound for me.

    Take care
    Anne (Crochet Between Worlds)

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  21. That is a super make - it looks like waves on a seashore of white sand.
    Caz xx
    PS I pronounce ombre as "om-bra"

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  22. I thought it was om buh. then on the tv they say ombray

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nGuJrGANt58

    Sorry I just dont know.

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  23. Fabulous! I am sure that it will find the right home - or it already has!! I say om bray, no idea what is right and who is to say what is right in any case! xx

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  24. I love that!! the design is fabulous, and those colours are so soothing. isn't it interesting what a difference the background makes. love the wall colour too x

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  25. Wow, I love this, the colours are right up my street and look fantastic shading from light to dark. I haven't tried crocodile stitch, something I must rectify very soon. I say om-bray but no idea if this is the correct pronunciation. xx

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  26. Lovely Gillian and glad you mastered that stitch as it does look kind of complicated. I do love seeing what you are doing with your new home. You are an inspiration in decorating and giving me ideas for our new home back in WG.Less than three weeks now to moving day. (Ugh) Here in Oz we pronounce that "om-bray". Take care and enjoy your long weekend.

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  27. Yes! A leaf green bag with just a few pinkish/purpley flowers around a cute bamboo handle, in a size just big enough to hold a phone and a packet of mints. Or an ombre (and I'd say it om-bray like a mexican) of reds from vermillion to maroon, lined with emerald green cotton and with a decent shoulder strap. I am off to practise my crocodile stitch asap!

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  28. What a super make, I have finally tuned into the ombre trend (even if I can't say it!), and these shades are so beautiful, all my favourites! Katie x

    http://www.long-may-she-rain.blogspot.co.uk/

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  29. That looks wonderful Gillian, such great colours in your bedroom! I'm loving the colour you have in your new home! xx

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  30. The hanging is gorgeous, such texture. It looks difficult! I agree it is so much better on the paler wall. Hawaiin geese sounds such much more exotic, but I'm listening to the blackbird in bed again ... Lovely. Xxx

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  31. It's really lovely. I must have a go at crocodile stitch.

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  32. Wow, you've sparked a whole debate as to how to pronounce that word!! I would plump for the French pronunciation after trying it all the other ways. But what a beautiful wall hanging and I like the texture of the back as well as the front. :-) xx

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  33. My mother used this stitch to make a hat for my 6 year old. It's green and she added some pointy ears and big eyes and my son calls it his dragon hat. Very cute. She also made my sister a hat using a variegated yarn. She gets compliments on it every where she goes. Iam sure it's the scaley nature of the stitch that catches everyone's eye first of all.

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  34. As I scan through the posts I've missed....I see how immaculate everything is, and I wonder HOW does she do it!! I love this bit of crochet by the way. It's just gorgeous.

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