Crochet Cards!

A few weeks ago I was walking through my student union shop when some cards caught my eye. The union always has a stunning range of cards that are somewhat overpriced but, in this case, I decided that the cost was worth it!

The union is stocking a range of cards by Paper Rose called Born to Stitch, and here is the first one that I bought:

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Inside Crochet Magazine

As if my collection of craft magazines and books wasn’t big enough, I couldn’t resist the adorable patterns in the latest edition of Inside Crochet.

While I have looked at the magazine in the past, it never really appealed to me, however, it has over gone a makeover and the new look magazine is fantastic.

 

The main reason I ran to the checkout with this magazine was simply for this amazing broomstick leggings pattern:

 

I have never tried broomstick stitches so attempting it in the round is probably slightly out of my ability just yet but I really really want a pair of these leggings!

As well as the leggings, there were also some other great patterns, these were some of my favourites:

 

 

 

 

This magazine was definitely a bargain for £4.99 as I will probably be using almost every pattern from it!

Jane at Is That You Darling? has inspired me to attempt a ’22 before 22′ list (inspired by her 30 before 30) which is a list of (in my case) 22 things that I want to achieve before I am 22, which I will be starting after my 21st birthday in December. While I haven’t had chance to put much thought into my list yet, one item I have decided on is ‘crochet my winter wardrobe,’ so I will be choosing a variety of winter clothes to crochet for winter 2013! Several of the patterns in the magazine will be making an appearance!

Sharing the Crochet Joy!

After having been doing crochet for a few weeks, I am now churning out finished projects! I get my love of crafts  from my mum, who is an avid stitcher (embroidery and general sewing) but one skill she hadn’t acquired was crochet. Since I seemed  to  be progressing quickly, I was nominated as teacher! My Mum decided that she wanted to make this throw (not an easy design for someone who has never picked up the hook or someone who has never taught anyone!) However, miraculously, it is progressing pretty well!

Here is my Mum’s first ever crochet attempt:

Although she missed out three stitches on the third round, she is still very happy with it and has now completed three of the fourteen squares in this design!

Building My Crochet Stash!

Even though I am (already!) short on money this month, I couldn’t help myself stocking up on supplies for my next few crochet projects! (My thinking being that if I stock up now I will have enough to keep me busy until I get paid again…) So, after yet another trip to the Hobbycraft clearance isle, I have got a nice stash of wool for my next few projects!

As my slippers are just about complete (pending assembly) I have decided to work on a lovely phone case designed by Tamara. I was actually going to work on my hat next, but on my previous trip to Hobbycraft to buy the wool for my hat, I spotted some Sindar Squiggle at £1.99 a ball. I absolutely fell in love with it! But I had no idea what I would use it for so reluctantly I left it on the shelf. The minute I stepped onto the bus the phone case pattern that Tamara had kindly emailed me came to mind and I was kicking myself for leaving it behind! Although the wool is chunkier than what Tamara recommended, I love it so much I am going to give it a go! A few adaptations may be in order but since I haven’t stuck to the recommended wool on a project yet, I’m prepared to take the risk! So after scuttling back a few days later and grabbing three balls I have come home a happy bunny 🙂 However, I have decided to do this project next as I’m not sure of the total yardage required, so if I start it now and discover that I need more (fingers crossed!) I will be able to go back and get some before they sell out!

Sirdar Squiggle wool for my phone case!

The next project in line is then my hat (finally!) that has been waiting patiently in my cupboard for ages now! I am using the design for this hat on Ravelry, as it uses chunky wool (which I seem to favour) so I got three balls of Rowan Big Wool (also from the Hobbycraft clearance isle at a bargain £3.99/ball!) and I have made this flower to attach to the hat, using the left over wool from my gloves, so that they (sort of) match. Because the wool  I used for the flower was chunky, I only did two rounds of petals so it didn’t get too big for the hat!

Rowan Big Wool for my hat

The ‘Frothy Flower’ embellishment for my hat

Next in my list of projects in the Zingy (EDF orange blob) pattern that I found here on Etsy. I cannot wait to tart this project because, let’s face it, anyone who watches the advert falls in love with him! I already have a list of people who want one making! One my trip to Hobbycraft I picked up the only (!) ball of orange wool that they had. It is a Hayfield Bonus DK that only cost £1.49 for the ball but it is slightly more fluorescent than I wanted. However, I’m sure that you won’t notice when he is finished, as only the cuteness will be seen!

And my final project (with wool in waiting!) is this shawl. Technically, it is the shawl waiting for the wool, as I have ordered ball of Caron One Pound wool, but alas, the postman hasn’t delivered it yet, which is why this one is last on the list at the moment.

The beasty ball of wool I am waiting for!

So I certainly have a nice stash building that will keep me busy (until pay day at least!) Then I’m sure there will be plenty more projects that I am eagerly awaiting to undertake!

Plans For This Week!

After having what felt like a less-than-productive close to last week, I am determined to kick of this week in a productive manner (and see it through to the end!)

Firstly, I WILL have ‘The Shadow of the Wind’ finished by the end of this week! I’m currently just under half way through it but I was really struggling to engage with it towards the end of last week (possibly as reading is pretty much a busman’s holiday for me!) but this week I will approach it with renewed vigour and have it ready for a review next week!

In terms of crochet, I have lots to keep me busy! I am still working on my throw, busily completing one square a day! This week, I am going to take a break from working out of my ‘Granny Square’ book, and return to Crochet Geek on Youtube, as she has some wonderful patterns that I never got round to trying so they will all be from her this week! As well as that, I am hoping to have my pink bunny slippers (pattern from the ‘Stitch and Bitch: The Happy Hooker’ book) also crocheted by the end of the week so all I have to do is assemble them! I seem to now have a slight backlog of projects ready and waiting (as does any crafter!) as I have the wool patiently sat ready and waiting to make my hat (the pattern changed due to the thickness of the wool available in the clearance section!) I am also awaiting the arrival of the wool to make my shawl, and now I have found this little gem, not only have all of my dreams come true, but I am going to have to invest in some orange wool!

My cross stitch stash is also alarmingly large! After completely falling out with my large project because of my stitching nightmare, it is still only half unpicked (mainly as the treads kept snapping as I did it) so I’d really like to get that back on track this week! As well as my Dimensions Gold kit, I am also trying to work through some of my smaller kits and projects that I have lying around. I am currently working on an advent calendar for my boyfriend, and with seven of the twenty-four pockets done, that will keep me busy for a while! I also have two lovely bookmark kits and a pot that I want to stitch a fairy for, so hopefully (fingers crossed!) something will be finished by the end of the week!

In other general news, I am going to an event on Wednesday at the local Literary Festival to meet some horror writers, and I am doing some [summer] cleaning, as now I have finished uni for the summer, it is time for a clear out! I have already sorted under my bed (produced two bin bags of rubbish and a carrier bag for the charity shop) and my dressing table and the  small cupboard under it (produced one bin bag of rubbish and a bin bag for the charity shop) and my wardrobe (produced a bin bag of rubbish, a carrier bag for the charity shop and six dresses for eBay!) and yet I STILL have no space for the craft stuff that is growing out of its corner! Hopefully when I sort out THE cupboard (the one where you open the door and run away so stuff doesn’t fall on you!) that will all change!

A busy week for me then!

New Crafty Goodies!

Over the weekend I ended up doing some spontaneous craft shopping! After failing to find something that attracted my attention at the Beverley Book Fair, I turned to their Boyes store and hunted through their crafty supplies.

Initially, I was going to see what wool they sold and have a look at their prices to hold in mind for future crochet projects, but I somehow found myself down the embroidery isle and I ended up treating myself! For a while now I have been toying with the idea of buying a floss organiser box, as I already have a small one that I put the floss from my current project in as it makes it easier to carry. However, I didn’t feel like the hours it would take to wind all of my threads onto the bobbins would be worth it. However, as I was contemplating the box, I noticed that they also sold a floss winder for £1.05! This ingenious little invention simply clips onto the organiser box and allows you to turn the handle to rotate the bobbin with one hand, and feed the floss onto it with another. This made the process much quicker (as well as much more entertaining!) and I quite happily spent the evening spinning the floss onto the bobbins without much effort. I absolutely adore this item, and for £1.05, it feels like they are giving them away!

On Sunday, I also ended up treating myself to a little something. I have flicked through the Vogue Knitting Crochet Special so many times in my newsagents now, they must be fed up of it! So, as I was passing on Sunday, I decided to check the price. As it was under £5 (I was expecting nearer £10!) I decided that it was a worthy investment. Although some of the items are beyond my range of expertise at the moment, Some of the projects were labelled ‘very easy’ so should therefore be manageable! I really like the range of patterns available in the magazine, from bags and jewellery to jumpers and dresses. It offers a huge scope of what is available to crochet. I have also been looking around for some patterns for clothes that I like (I seem to be picky!) but the magazine has a lot of modern designs that I like, so hopefully I will be attempting some clothing soon!

One project I am eager to get started on is this hat (links to Vogue Knitting Crochet Special preview) that will compliment my finished gloves, which I have pictured below the hat.

The bobble pattern of the hat is similar to the gloves so they should look good together! I can’t wait to get started on the hat now! I am incredibly pleased of how the gloves turned out, them being the first proper project I have undertaken. I was also surprised by how quickly I finished them! After three evenings they were complete!. For anyone who missed it, the pattern for the gloves is available here.

My First Experience of Crochet

A few months ago I decided I was going to teach myself how to crochet. The idea came more or less out of the blue – it was only about a year ago that I first started cross stitch, which was the first craft I had really undertaken seriously. Now, I am working on expanding my skills to patchwork/quilting, appliqué and crochet.

I promised myself that I would start crochet straight after my exams, however, with the hooks and wool ready and waiting, I was drawn in by the temptation and spend many of the hours I should have been revising, making granny-squares instead!

I wasn’t sure where to begin with crochet, so I thought my best bet might be to buy some wool that matches my bedroom. I invested in some dark red and white balls of wool, then hunted YouTube for some inspiration. While searching around I came across the channel for Crochet Geek. Suddenly hundreds of tutorials were presented to me, everything from granny squares to amigurumi. I started with the basic granny square in two colours, which took me a while to get started but once I understood the stitches, I completed in three hours (the next square only took me one hour!) Crochet Geek’s videos are fantastic, especially for beginners, as she takes you through the stitches in slow motion so you are able to see what you have to do very clearly. I have now made several squares using Crochet Geek’s designs (I chose to make my throw out of different squares so I could practice all of the different stitches) and I have now progressed to reading patterns, so I invested in The Granny Square Book, to give me another 75 designs to work on.

I have now made about 15 squares for my throw (a long way to go yet!) but I absolutely love it and I usually complete one or two squares a day. My favourite so far is this one:

This was the third square that I made and I am very proud of how it turned out! It is a design by Crochet Geek, and the tutorial on how to make it can be found in three parts here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BxGffjMkaxI&list=PLE13D21C2E1F58CD7&index=9&feature=plpp_video

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N-AC1wA02rI&list=PLE13D21C2E1F58CD7&index=10&feature=plpp_video

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=12ezNFSwHyw&list=PLE13D21C2E1F58CD7&index=11&feature=plpp_video

Since working on my throw, I felt more confident to branch out into other projects, so the first one I tried was this Jammy Dadger:

I think this is adorable and I will definitely be making more! It was also nice and simple for a beginner! This design was one I got from here:

http://accordingtomatt.blogspot.co.uk/2011/07/jammy-dodger-pattern.html

And finally, my latest project I am working on is a pair of gloves that I stumbled upon on Ravelry (image is linked to the page). I came across some chunky Rowan wool that was reduced to half price at my local Hobbycraft, so I decided to treat myself and, as I had been looking at this design for a while, I thought I would give it a go. Now, three rows from the end of my second glove, I am very glad I did! I will share my finished gloves in a future post!