WIP Wednesday (12/06/19)

Hello all! I am on night shifts at the mo, but unfortunately with all this rain we have been having, there’s not been any crochet time! Hopefully tonight will be quieter!

Anyways, I have 2 WIP’s at the mo.

I swatched my Blooming Crocus top and restarted it and it is looking much better.

And do you remember last year, when I won best in show for my Crochet and Felt bouquet of flowers at Beckenham Park Place’s first ever Flower Show? Well it’s back again this year so of course I have to enter again. I have decided to make tulips this year. All the petals have been completed for my yellow tulips, so now to start on my purple Tulips.

I couldn’t find a pattern so I made one up! I may publish it once I have completed the project.

What WIP have you been working on recently?

Horizon Fingerless Gloves

Hello all! I appear to be on a role at the moment, as I have just finished another project.

This time it is the Horizon Fingerless Gloves, by Little Golden Nook. Seriously, if you are looking for a quick and satisfying project, this is it!

I used the leftover yarn from my Colour Block Jumper, which you can read about here. WYS The Croft in colourways Stonybreck, Melby and Norwick. They are so cosy. Today it is very rainy and windy out, so a cup of tea and some snuggly mittens is just what is needed.

I did have to adjust the pattern slightly, as I have larger hands than your average lady. So I added 2 extra rows in the cuff section which allowed me to add an extra bobble Stitch to the bobble section. When I came to the part where I made the thumb hole, I chained 6 and skipped 6, instead of the 4 the pattern required.

Aren’t they gorgeous? I love them. I can’t wait for autumn to roll around so I can enjoy them more!

My Cherry Pi

hello all! today I am popping in to share with you my latest finished object.

This is the Cherry Pi Shawl, which is publiushed in the irst Book of the Shawl Project series by The Crochet Project. This particular shawl was designed by Joanne Scrace.

the yarn is Britsilk 4ply by the Knitting Goddess. It is the first ever hand dyed yarn I bought. it started my love affair with indie dyers, so it was only fitting it became such a gorgeous project.

The lace in this pattern is absolutely stunning. It is a real treat to block, as the lace opens up beautifully.

The pattern, as all patterns in the Shawl Project book 1, requires just a single skein of fingering weight yarn.

the only slight problem i had with this pattern was during the middle section of lace. Because yoiu went into a stitch with a chain on your hook, sometimes the stitching wasnt as smooth as the chain got twisted around the hook. But it all worked out in the end.

I particularly appreciated the note section of the pattern. It states that “the pattern will not sit nicely until it has had its first blocking. Have faith even though it looks wrong, it will be fine”. This was well needed advice. I often find as a follower of a couple of designers facebook support groups, that people repeatedly question if things look right if so much as a tiny ruffle appears in the work, and the designers have to continually reassure them that thwe ruffles will block out. So I appreciate the forethought that Joanne had in writing this pattern.

Dont you find it just incredible what we can make with a single ball of yarn. Once I have pinned my work to the blocking board I hang the board up inside my shower (its the only place in my house where the cat wouldnt be able to reach my work), and so everytime I went into the bathroom, I found myself staring joyfully at the project, completely blown away that something so beautiful could have come from a single continuous peice of yarn. Its amazing what us Yarnies can create, isnt it?

As an added bonus, if you pop over to my insta highlights, you can see a little storyboard of what Max is thinking when she decides to interfere with my crochet projects.

Rugged Bohemian Waistcoat – Rewritten

Hello All!

Many years ago, all the way back in 2015, I designed a waistcoat pattern. I was going to Star Wars Secret Cinema, and had been assigned the class of Mercenary. But we bought the with so little notice that we didnt have much time for costume hunting. I had my outfit mostly under control – I already hadbrown boots, sand coloured trousers, an of white top, the requred faction scarf and a plastic bullet belt from an army costume from years earlier. But it looked like it needed something more. So I trawled through my stash and found some brown rustic looking yarn, and then it hit me – a waistcoat. I knew I needed it done within 24 hours, so I made it up as I went along, and then I attempted to write a pattern.

This pattern has had a fair amount of attention – its been shared among ravelry groups, on pinterest, etc. But evey so often, I would get a message o a comment about how people were struggling to follow the pattern. It was the very first pattern I ever wrote, and it was pretty rubbish. So I finally did something about it. I rummaged through my yarn stash, found some suitable yarn, and got cracking on rewriting the pattern.

You can find the shiny new PDF pattern on my Ravelry Store, here.

I put in lots of photos and hopefully explained everything a whole lot better. I even did the maths to make larger and smaller sizes.

Let me know what you think.

Bonus Pic – here is princess Max, having to get involved… yet again…

World Wide Knit (or Crochet) in Public Day

So, as it turns out, today is World Wide Knit in Public day. WWKIPD was started in 2005 and falls on the 2nd Saturday of June. Its aim is to get epople out and about enjoying fibre in public spaces for everyone to see. And it got mev thinking about the benefits of crocheting in public.

Personally, the main reason I crochet in public is convenience. I crochet every day on the train to and from work. It seems daft to just waste the 40 minutes each way staring out of the window or trawling through social medias for the hundreth time. A lot can be done in an hour and 20 minutes so I may as well be productive with my time. One of my Anxiety triggers is lack of productivity. This feeling that I have wasted time or not acheived anything productive. So it can be a real boost to my day and my mood to get a little crochet in before I even get to work.

Another reason to crochet in public is Anxiety control. I struggle with really huge groups of people. The other day we went to see Tenacious D at Wembley Arena. I had never been to such a large event before. I had a panic attack before I left, because I was so scared of the thousands of people (around 12000), the threat to my personal safety and security, just the thought of all the people pushing into me. So I took my crochet along with me, and I sat and crocheted whilst I waited for the gig to start. This helped to center me and stop the continual cycle of thoughts of what could go wrong. I did eventually have another panic attack, but that was on leaving the event only to find that Wembley Stadium had an event of and they had kicked out at the same time. Around 80,000 people who had been watching some Korean pop band I had never heard of. I hadn’t prepared for the stress of almost 100000 people all trying to get into a train station at once.

Anyways I digress. Another Anxiety trigger I have is loud unruly people. I get really worked up when I see people breaking rules (like drinking on the tube, not stowing their bags under the seat on airplanes, putting their feet on the seats on the train, etc. It’s really silly, but there is a part of my brain that really hates rule breaking, because rules exist for a reason no matter how stupid they may initially seem. I also really hate rowdy behaviour, overly loud aggressive talking, people being horrible to customer service staff. I just don’t understand why people have to be so rude and inconsiderate to the people around them/why everyone can’t just be nice and polite and civil with each other and that can often get me all worked up. So to avoid the anxietyness all together, I just put on my headphones and get out my crochet then I can be oblivious to it all, happily crocheting away in peace.

Another great reason to crochet in public is this – to inspire. Countless times I have been crocheting in public and have been approached to ask what it is I am doing. When I am on a train I often catch glimpses of people transfixed with the movement of my hook. We pass many many people on a daily basis, and in this modern world more and more people are searching for something more to fill their life with. Something to fulfil their soul and make their heart happy. Crochet may be exactly what they need, and seeing a young creative person creating something really cool from just some string and s hook, may just inspire them to try it themselves. And thus we spread the love.

Did you crochet in public yesterday? I crocheted on the train to work, on my lunch break, in a cafe, on the Overground and on a train home.

Tutorial – Working into the Foundation Ch

Hello everyone. Today I am going to share with you a new technique that I love to use when starting a new project.

Now, I can ideal world, we wouldn’t have to ever do a foundation chain. I have been a massive convert to the Foundation Sc recently. But sometimes, a starting chain is inevitable.

Traditionally when crocheting into a foundation chain, we would put our hook under the top loop of the V created at the front of the chain.

However, for a neater look, consider turning the chain over and looking at its back. Can you see these bumps at the back. Well, we can actually crochet into these instead.

Now for a side by side, so you can see the difference this method makes to the beginning edge of a project.

You get a much more even edge, which looks nicer and if sewing panels together, is uch easier to match up.

I used it for the collar of my Neon Moon Jumper and it negated the need to finish it with a row of SC.

And there we are. A neater foundation edge is as simple as flipping the chain over and picking another loop.

What have you learnt recently that has changed how you crochet?

WIP Wednesday (05/06/19)

This WIP Wednesday I have 3 projects on the hooks.

I am almost finished my Cherry Pi shawl. I finished the actual crochet part on the train home from work earlier today. I just have to sew in the ends and block it. It’s gonna be real exciting blocking something so lacey.

I started the Blooming Crocus Top pattern by sweet potato crochet yesterday. But I have no photo as it’s sitting on the naughty step. I did the first 2 rows for the Large size, only to try it on and find that it is about 8 inches too big for me. So I am deciding what to do now. I guess I will go down to a M. Or perhaps go down a hook size. Or perhaps both. Who knows. I hate to do gauge swatches but I think I have no choice. When I measured my gauche I think I was a whole cluster shell stitch out!

And finally, I am working on one of my own patterns – in order to rewrite my old pattern I needed to make another to better understand why people were having a hard time understanding it. I hope to have it re-released by the end of the week.

Also whilst I am here, I just wanna share with you a new project bag which I received in the post today. If you don’t like rude things, look away now:

When I saw it it made me chuckle so I had to have it! It has pockets on the inside too. 2 big ones and 4 little ones. It is brilliant!

I bought it from the Knitting Goddess, who is also the person who dyed the yarn I am using for my Cherry Pi Shawl above.

Some Old Patterns Scrubbed Up New

As part of my effort to revamp my blog and sort out some of the old content, I have been planning on sorting out a more professional looking format for my patterns. Well, today I settled upon a PDF format I like, so I applied it to 3 patterns I am happy with. These 3 Washcloths.

From left to right, you can find the new PDF Patterns here, here, and here on Ravelry.

Please, go and have a look at them – I would love to know what you think – I hope this new format and new look will help my work to stand out a bit more, once I start designing again, and give a level of continuity to it all.

And thank you to those of you who have been here following me for so long – without your encouragement, I would probably have given up a long time ago, but I just know if I persevere, I can only get better and make my design dreams come true.

A (Very) Late Spring Clean

Yes yes, I am aware that its almost summer but better later than never I suppose.
Last year I decided to take a big break from designing crochet patterns to really focus on improving my skills and researching how other successful pattern designers write so well.
Well, I am not ready to start designing just yet, although I have some ideas in my head, but I thought it about time I reviewed some of my old patterns.
And my goodness aren’t they terrible! Some of them are written so badly, some are just plain ugly, there’s spelling error galore! But to my dismay, there is no way to delete a pattern from Ravelry. So I set about trying to find a solution to remove my hideous contributions to Ravelry. And I happened across this very handy blog post by Blackstone Designs.
So I created this little icon.
And I went through my Ravelry and addressed all of my problem patterns.

I also went through my blog and archived all of the old posts that no longer fit with my blog and my Instagram account removing all of the bad/irrelevant photographs. I decided that I need to focus my blog more on crochet and less on all the other stuff I used to post about.

The last 4 patterns I have decided to re write and re photograph. Perhaps even with photo tutorials. I may even make PDF’s.

I hope that this will help me to feel less weighed down and cluttered when I get back in to designing. If nothing it removes some of the frankly embarrassing “designs…?” I came up with years ago!

Also, please keep an eye out for some changes on my blog – my fiance has offered to host it, and so i have generally overhauled it. Updates should appear within the next 24 hours.

May Makes

Gosh it’s been a while since I did one of these. Apparently I didn’t finish a single project in April. And only finished a single project in March. I definitely made up for the slack this month though!

I started May by completing my NWR Jumper.

Then I finished my Falling Blossoms Shawl.

After that came my Flower Child Beanie.

And then I finally completed my bundle of OFAPUK critters.

And to finish off the month, I made this Neon Moon Jumper.
I am very pleased with myself, and hope I can keep up this rythm. We are now 6 months in to the year (scary isn’t it) and I am not even half way to my Ravelry Project Goal, and I. Have only used a 3rd of the yardage of yarn I did last year, so I need to get my skates on and crochet faster!