Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Practice practice practice

Over the past few weeks, between making gifts, I have been mastering the art of crochet knitting. Sounds odd I know, but there are many ways to make a stitch, look like a knit; although it looks tricky at first, it's more than easy enough to master. Of course, I had no idea that this could be done until, BIG SHOCK, I found the stitch tutorial on Pinterest; I started off with a simple Tunisian stitch and have progressed to a Tunisian knit stitch (ever so slightly different but with big results) and have mastered a cable knit stitch! Now cable knit stitches are rather tricky but, well practice makes perfect, and I'm off and away, experimenting with the stitch itself to block the cables, continue the cables and elongate the cables.
As you can see from my pictures below, each stitch has a knit look about it and can be manipulated in ways to achieve the desired pattern or result, and like any pattern can be transferred through different thicknesses and materials to create beautiful textures. So, my next challenge, find more stitches and master them to create a world of crochet knit.

Left: cable knit. Top right: Tunisian knit stitch. Bottom left: Tunisian  simple stitch

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Christmas Crafts

Over the past couple weeks I have been busy and a half getting presents ready for Christmas, as I have previously mentioned I'm taking on the task of making most of my gifts; this is proving to be no easy feat. Now, I would post pictures of these creations, but frankly they're not all completed and it would completely spoil the surprise for the people receiving the gifts. However, what I can say is that I'm rather proud of the patterns I have created and I'm hoping they're loved by the people I give them to!

Since seeing my varying items and hands at work, one or two people have said I should teach them how to crochet, this would probably never happen, but it did get me thinking to how I'd love to teach a class or two in the future, crochet and cocktail night sounds good to me ;) But the thought of teaching and learning to crochet did make me think about the amazing CK, the majority of crafters love CK, the beautiful fabrics, unique designs and the often the finishing touch to any outfit. And no, I don't mean Calvin Klein, though his cheeky designs do complete any outfit ;) - I'm talking about Cath Kidston. Her gorgeous patterns do offer that extra something to anyone's home or wardrobe, her stores often offer the occasional class to the public; however for the past year or so they were offering a 'how to crochet tin'. Unfortunately they no longer stock this in store, but you can still find this pretty little tin on Amazon.

This idea of teaching yourself to crochet with a kit is a great idea in my opinion! Instructions, a hook and wool in a tin. Instead of buying someone a scarf, or a cushion or a teddy, give them a new hobby!  So, get yourself down to John Lewis, C&H Fabrics or support your local wool store and buy your loved one something different this Christmas!

Kits available at John Lewis

Monday, 19 November 2012

What a hoot

Owls owls owls. These wise animals (maybe the only bird that doesn't scare me) have been scattering the fashion pages this year, featuring in our jewellery, clothing and most importantly, our crafts. These lovely creatures take many shapes and forms, colours can be so wacky and varied that the combinations are endless, creating a gateway to creativity. Not only am I one to embrace this quirky trend but so is my mother, who has started to create stunning felt owls, with tiny, intricate detailing that has taken her hours (more than expected) to make. Myself, I of course went for a crocheted owl, not just any owl, but one that keeps me warm. Thanks to the amazing Pinterest, I found a pattern for reusable owl hand warmers, not just cute but stops you from getting chilly on those lovely winter walks. I simply love this pattern, it leaves so much room for colour combinations and your own imagination. I kept my first one simple and fat, but I'm sure the next will be a bit more quirky!

Crochet owl pattern thanks to 

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Winter warmers

As we start to enter winter I have a great urge to wrap up warm at all times, there's nothing better than snuggling up indoors with a blanket and a hot water bottle. With this rapidly changing weather my best friend, Julia, is more than feeling the cold tucked away at university in Exeter, and knowing my love for crocheting, asked me to construct a new cover for her hot water bottle. This was actually one pattern I struggled to find on Pinterest, so I decided to undertake the task of creating my own pattern, keeping it simple I went for her two chosen colours in a chunky knit and crocheted them in to blocks with a pretty edging to rim the top. Fingers crossed, that it doesn't fall apart after a week of use, but I do have some confidence in my skills (I think)! But this did start me off to thinking about making my own patterns and how one goes about it; well, my best guess is, try try and try some more. Oh and document every creation and every mishap so it doesn't happen again, we shall see how awfully this goes ;)

Julia's hot water bottle
Oh and my more important and exciting news, I am now creating with TWO hands, that's right I am no longer with sling and am going to start rehab!!!

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

It's Christmassssss

Ok, well not quite but the adverts have hit our screens and the shops are pushing for you to spend a ridiculous amount of money on presents for people already, let alone tempting you to eat all of those delicious chocolates now and replace them some time in the not so distant future to gorge on again. Personally, I'd like to know when Christmas became so over commercialised that we stopped thinking and just started buying mounds of gifts; so this year (ignoring the fact that I'm broke) I decided I'm going to make most of my gifts and make my ornaments. I highly doubt I'll get loads done but what's the harm in trying? When deciding to make my ornaments I went straight to my bible, Pinterest, knowing I'd find a few hundred things to make I narrowed my search down to what I know best, crocheted items. And finally after searching for what seemed like no time at all I found my two focus projects for this Christmas season; stars and snowflakes, cliche I know but they're just so beautiful and intricate I couldn't say no.

Star ornament curtesy of

Snowflake ornament curtesy of

Monday, 12 November 2012

The first of (hopefully) many...

True to myself I am, yet again, injured. Of course this injury has been dragging on for over 9 months, rendering me bed ridden for quite some time and leading up to a small but no less painful operation and tadahhhh * jazz hand* I'm slung up waiting for my shoulder to heal. 

So, as I sit here with one arm, I say to you, what is a girl to do with all this free time? Well apart from watch tv, eat copious amounts of chocolate and have the occasional cheeky glass of wine; I've been teaching myself to crochet. I have vague memories as a child of helping my mother try to crochet 'my' Victorian school project, and after failing to teach myself knitting around the age of 13, I thought I would never bother to try anything with wool again; but to my surprise here I am loving these beautiful creations that come from my own hands. Who thought, that a girl with almost zero hand eye co-ordination could actually crochet a whole Afghan snood! Hell, I've even mastered a form of crochet-knitting (more on that at a later date), it is more than safe to say that this time has shown me that when one sets their mind to accomplishing a project and mastering a new skill, it can be done.