Sunday, 6 October 2013

The creativity of crocheting can extend into many mediums!

Howdy! Long time... no crochet? Terrible joke.

It's been a while since my previous post, but I promise to make it a good one! The summer has come and gone, and my time has mostly been spent saying goodbye to lots of new friends I'd made in the last year on my placement, and saying hello and catching up to some old acquaintances as I make my return to University.

And its my FINAL YEAR.

As you would expect, such pressuring circumstances come with major distractions! Actually on this occasion it hasn't been crocheting - and that is what is different about this post!

Moving into student housing holds many stigmas including - everything smells, and the white walls look a little bit brown, and what is that stain in the toilet? - and this house was certainly no different. In fact, everything just seemed to be sticky and this led to me constantly shouting "why?!" (Noone has yet given me answers but I have theories!).

So I've had a bit of time to settle in - and one of the things that has helped me with this is a small - distraction - project to uplift the house a bit!

One of the van full of things I brought with me was an old bookcase! Being a pro at the ol' student thing, one of the other downfalls of student housing is the severe lack of storage. The bookcase used to belong in the office at home, naturally with refurbishments this one became void. So I took it! Initially I was just happy with the storage, but then thought how interesting it would be to try some DIY creativity with it!

This spent many trips to a low cost branded paint shop and buying little taster pots! Whenever there were 5 minutes spare I would gradually paint this bookcase. Very therapeutic! But also.. I have no idea about anything to do with painting and learnt a lot in the process, like:

  • Sticky tape is required for nice straight edges
  • If you get paint on the glass... its ok, you've just found out it scratches off later!
  • But don't get paint on the floor - because this floor does not belong to you.

Learning all of these things were crucial, but its all in the name of FUN.

In addition to this (because you thought the excitement ended there) I decided to wallpaper! Painting, although not formally tried I had intelligent guesses on how it worked - but wallpaper I had not a clue.
But I also learnt lots more of DIY like:
  • There is such thing as too much paste
  • If you haven't got the right tools, a wooden spoon and a kitchen knife just won't cut it (literally).
  • It can be great entertainment to fellow inhabitants.

And voila! A new funky upbeat bookcase! 
Envy of all the students houses!

Wednesday, 31 July 2013

How to make Socks!

A couple of posts ago I explained how to make slippers. A well received gift! Well I'm about to show you another great gift that I made especially to fit. And you will soon see why.

These particular socks are of the slipper variety - mostly because of the wool that I chose! I used a DK BONUS acrylic type wool. (Still on the acrylic!...)
This recipient happen to be my dad, and for a very special reason - I crocheted him a pair of slipper socks!

This is the video tutorial I followed. What I like to do with most tutorials is to attach my own ideas to the design, and with crochet being so flexible I am able to do that. To make it more of a slipper I stopped at the ankle and removed the sock element to my design. This particular garment was made up of mostly Single Crochet stitches so is really simple.

The issue that anyone should be aware of when using this video, is to adapt the number of stitches and rows according to the size of your wool. Probably basic common sense. Ha.

So what was special about this gift was the alterations I had to make for the perfect fit for my dad's odd sized feet. Due to an accident at work, my dad has an amputated left foot.

The amazing part is obviously the success, but also the appreciation for the effort,  and my dad loved and still loves wearing them! 

So much so... I can feel another request coming my way!

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Look, I received a gift!

I've just come back from celebrating my other half's graduation, which I will soon be experiencing myself next year!... But with these occasions, you end up mingling with family members and friends. The fact that I have a hobby in crochet has got round, and my boyfriend's Gran got chatting with me about how my crocheting is going. Such a lovely lady, and she got out the cupboard something that she had made in the past...

A poncho! For something that was made so long ago it's amazing how fashionable it looks and I was honoured to receive it, not only because she had made it, but because it was the first project she had ever crocheted. Along with the sentimental elements, this poncho also demonstrates how basic my crocheting is - but it is certainly my aim to get good!

So now I can share and enjoy the creativity of other peoples crochet! I won't be able to wear it just yet with outside reaching temperatures around 27C... but certainly will be waiting for me when winter makes its return!

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

How to make... Slippers!

For me money has been a bit on the low side, and learning how to crochet has meant that when it comes to birthdays, you can create something unique to that person, and only pay for the wool! And at this point the only type I was using was Acrylic, which can be found affordable anywhere.

The recipient was female and so decided the appropriate gift was a pair of slippers! In this case what was good about the wool I selected was that it was completely machine washable and can be put in the tumble dryer! Which is what you need when something is being used constantly with feet.

This is the You Tube video I followed :

Being on my own and learning from no background in craft at all, You Tube has been a blessing for me - as I have yet to even learn proper crochet lingo - especially when it comes to patterns! (Something that will become obvious to in due course)

The slipper design is very simple but it teaches you two very important things:
How to crochet a circle
How to Slip Stitch

Which leads me on to my second part of the design...
A flower!

This is such a nice basic flower design! And actually not too difficult to make (but required all of my concentration at first)

When I was making the slippers I was really quite unwell (Not a virus I hasten to add!), with some time off work I was able to sit down, with a film, and crochet.
So this is why everyone likes it so much! It's therapeutic.

The recipient was amazed, not only because I could crochet, but because I got the size right and made something unique to her. To this day she reminds me of how comfortable the slippers are, and how she wears them all the time.

A brilliant gift - all for the bargain price of £1.80 (And some hours of my time...)

Saturday, 6 July 2013

My First Official Project

It has to start somewhere doesn't it? I've already explained to you up until now how it has gone for me. To be honest, even though I was rubbish for a bit, I was quite happy to keep going and already pretty addicted. Ha.

You've probably noticed I had a bright yellow wool to practice with. Funny story - this was actually a mistake, my intentions were orange and I bought the wool online. When it came through in the post I was slightly surprised by how unlike orange the colour was.

But since it was just practice wool, it didn't seem to matter.

Lets go back 5 months and it was winter time - which is hard to imagine in Britain - as this post is going out we are experiencing a freak heat wave. Crochet is great  at winter because of all the obvious things, scarves hats.... And gloves.

Yes my first project was gloves! It was because I was strolling through YouTube and they looked so nice... I had to do it.

So I practiced first with my bright yellow wool, and my mum witnessed this magical creation where something actually went right. As my first ever customer she bought wool that she liked and  I made her a pair of gloves.


Actually though, the response from her and family members was quite positive. That's part of the addiction in crochet, you become this super hero who can, in my case, make gloves.

I won't take all the credit though - here is the video I followed!

I recommend this "youtuber" a lot because she makes it really simple - even though it has a double crochet foundation! (I think, ha ha still learning names) This is a lot different to just a chain foundation and has led me to inspiration to other projects that I will show you soon!

Such a great gift idea, because you can adapt it to how they want, and for my mum she wanted long gloves but you can make them short like with the yellow wool.

Thursday, 4 July 2013

Practising those Stitches

It's good to learn to know different stitches other than the Single Crochet. There are some really nice easy ones out there too!

You know what is even better? Learning their names too!
Ones I recommend to use:

  • Half Double Crochet
  • Double Crochet
  • Treble Crochet

Here is a great website that tells you about them

These stitches are really nice, simple and effective too. And if you want to be quite progressive with your crocheting they can be quicker than just the standard Single Crochet.  Not only this of course you can experiment with different looks and styles!

This video demonstrates the double crochet stitch. Youtube is a powerful tool to be able to find those videos that are helpful to learn and to recap the stitch if you forget! It's like having your own personal teacher. But... you control when they talk and shut them up if they're boring!

So that scarf you made with just a Single Crochet Stitch? Try it with the other basic stitches.

You must stick around this blog as soon I'm going to show you my FIRST EVER PROJECT! :)

Small plug - Go and visit neighbourly blog The Amazing World of Science - so educational, and if you are really into science you will definitely learn something new!

Tuesday, 2 July 2013

New Facebook Page!

I've just launched my own Facebook page! Pretty new to all this page malarkey! Never the less it is there for you upload  your projects! I would love to see what you get up to.

Share the inspiration!

Anyway, you can find it in the link on the right or simply by clicking here

Expect more diary of events very soon!