a good yarn

Well I am well and truly hooked on crochet. Don’t get me wrong, I still love sewing, but crochet is still at the learning stage so is just for me rather than for my shop. At the beginner’s crochet 2 hour course at ‘Wool’ in Bath (run for Bath WI) I learnt:

  • a slip knot (to get started)
  • chain stitch
  • slip stitch
  • treble crochet

The granny squares started improving and I felt I was ready to buy some more expensive yarn (although still not very expensive) and to treat myself to a couple of books to learn some more stitches:

crochet books
crochet books

Now I also know:

  • double crochet
  • double treble crochet

I have moved on from the standard granny square to the daffodil square; have decided it is too heavy with only the border in white, so will make the centres in white too. One day it will be a blanket, sitting on our bed. My hope is that the more I do, the tidier it will get…at the moment it still needs work!

A couple of years back my sister gave me a book on making flowers, and now I think I may stand a chance of making something that resembles the photos in the book.

crochet flowers book
crochet flowers book

My first attempts are not quite right – I need to count better and I am sure I am not making my slip stitches in quite the right place, but this week I have a dear friend visiting and she is a very talented crochetist and I will take every opportunity to make the most of her expertise while she is here…and will pay her in lavender scented shortbread!

first attempt – it’s meant to be a daisy
getting there...it's a hellebore (I just didn't have quite the right colour yarn)
getting there…it’s a hellebore (I just didn’t have quite the right colour yarn)

I am also experimenting with different styles of crochet hook…the steel one is ok, but sometimes my fingers ache (think I am too tense), so I got some acrylic ones (ok, I admit it, I liked the rainbow colours) and managed to snap the one I was using (but I didn’t like the way it kind of squeaked against the yarn anyway), so I will try bamboo and one of the Clover softgrip ones. Yes, a bad workman blames his tools, but there’s no harm in finding the most comfortable style to use! What do crocheters out there recommend?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

my first ever granny square (well, squarish)

Bath WI crochet workshop

The Bath WI strikes again with a cracking craft workshop! Today we had three hours’ beginners’ crochet at Bath’s premier knitting and wool emporium, ‘Wool‘. Our teach, Sara, could not have been better or nicer – and even provided us with delicious cupcakes made by her talented niece. I think Sara’s middle name must be Patience…it took three attempts just to get me to tie a slip knot! Once I got going, I thought I was doing quite well…until I realised that my ‘square’ already had six corners and I still had a little way to go on that round. Sara undid a bit and pointed out where I had gone wrong – but in a way that made me feel like I was actually doing really well (a wonderful talent for a teacher). I didn’t even finish all four rounds and found at the end of the class I had missed three trebles on round two. So my square is not exactly square and my tension was a little tight, making it a very small…but I came home inspired (and with a bag full of yarn to continue practising!). I sat down straight away and made another square. It was so much quicker and, although not perfect, is a great improvement on my first square.

I confess I was tempted to only show you the second square, but I am going to be brave and show you my first attempt too – in months to come it will give me a measure of my improvement (and will give my readers a good laugh!)

my first granny 'square'
my first granny ‘square

Compare and contrast…

before and after
before and after

I am rather keen to make a blanket…and will share photos (in a year or two…)

 

zips!

Mark’s colleague, Shelley, suggested my book bags would benefit from a pocket. I think she is right so have been experimenting with inserting pockets fitting flush in the lining. I have done a few with button fastenings, but wanted to remind myself about inserting zips. Is it sad to enjoy fitting zips? Anyway, I went a bit zip mad and thought a small purse would be a nice way to use some London themed fabric I had in my stash. I then found some London bus charms…synchronicity!

London coin purse
London coin purse
purse detail
purse detail

The purse was fun to make and I now have an urge to do some fabric painting to turn in to more purses. How strange it is to spend a Sunday evening looking forward to starting work on Monday morning!

 

lavender’s blue…dilly dilly

Lavender’s blue, dilly dilly,
Lavender’s green
When you are king, dilly dilly,
I shall be queen

I have long enjoyed making lavender bags and had stashed away packs of purchased lavender and pots of flowers harvested last Summer from the lavender in our own garden. I decided I should amalgamate it all and wanted it to look nice.

lavender jar
lavender jar

The jar is described as an extra large biscotti jar, and I can’t help but wonder if I wouldn’t prefer it to be full of biscotti, but the lavender is far less damaging to my diet, and I do love the little scoop! I do so like things to be both practical and pretty…!