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Monday, 26 September 2016

Another amazingly HOOKY weekend!

We all gathered for 10am, armed with tea and delicious biscuits, we introduced ourselves
My pupils were given a ball of glitzy yarn. As you can see this was a very exciting moment and the yarn was a great hit with all. 
I love to do "show And tell" so out came a few projects including this amazing granny blanket
I love the way DB has used white in every other round. 
SC brought in her cardigan which neede ever so slight adjustment on the back. 
She had been a very good Hooker and made a tension square before starting but the back came up huge!! So help was needed to correct this "pattern error" and pinning saved the day.
The design / make for the weekend was a slipper kit. All were given a beautifully present kit purchased from Joes Toes and when I mentioned that we were going to design slippers, my pupils were in shock!!
But just look at them knuckling down to it and look at what they made!!  
Buttons and felt appliques  were added to give each pair a flair!!    


Using the wool winder was good fun and we also worked on our WIPs
 Then out came the FIMO
 

 We had fun rolling out the colours, making a mess of the table & squidging bits of this to that to create our custom hook handles.

I wasn't taking any chances this time.  I read the "baking" section over and over and in they popped for about 10 mins in all.

Fortunately they came out fine this time & it was smiles all round - SuCeSS!


  Birthday Girl!! 

Yes, we had a Birthday Girl with us all weekend!!  She couldn't think of a better way to spend her day than hooking away with like minded people - what a fab Birthday Day!!

If you'd like to come along to an affordable Crochet Weekend Retreat, then keep your eyes peeled on my website http://www.gethookedoncrochet.co.uk/crochet-days-in-dorset-2016/http://www.gethookedoncrochet.co.uk/crochet-days-in-dorset-2016/ for Improvers & Beginners weekends coming soon!


       

Another amazingly HOOKY weekend!

We all gathered for 10am, armed with tea and delicious biscuits, we introduced ourselves
My pupils were given a ball of glitzy yarn. As you can see this was a very exciting moment and the yarn was a great hit with all. 
I love to do "show And tell" so out came a few projects including this amazing granny blanket
I love the way DB has used white in every other round. 
SC brought in her cardigan which neede ever so slight adjustment on the back. 
She had been a very good Hooker and made a tension square before starting but the back came up huge!! So help was needed to correct this "pattern error" and pinning saved the day.
The design / make for the weekend was a slipper kit. All were given a beautifully present kit purchased from Joes Toes and when I mentioned that we were going to design slippers, my pupils were in shock!!
But just look at them knuckling down to it and look at what they made!!  
Buttons and felt appliques  were added to give each pair a flair!!    


Using the wool winder was good fun and we also worked on our WIPs
 Then out came the FIMO
 

 We had fun rolling out the colours, making a mess of the table & squidging bits of this to that to create our custom hook handles.

I wasn't taking any chances this time.  I read the "baking" section over and over and in they popped for about 10 mins in all.

Fortunately they came out fine this time & it was smiles all round - SuCeSS!


  Birthday Girl!! 

Yes, we had a Birthday Girl with us all weekend!!  She couldn't think of a better way to spend her day than hooking away with like minded people - what a fab Birthday Day!!

If you'd like to come along to an affordable Crochet Weekend Retreat, then keep your eyes peeled on my website http://www.gethookedoncrochet.co.uk/crochet-days-in-dorset-2016/http://www.gethookedoncrochet.co.uk/crochet-days-in-dorset-2016/ for Improvers & Beginners weekends coming soon!


       

Wednesday, 7 September 2016

Wool / Yarn Bag Review

Yarn Bag / Bin  Premium Yarn Bin/Drum storage for crochet and knitting. Lightweight and portable with pockets for your hooks and tools. Handy slits on top to stop tangling and a comfy carry handle

This was made possible by Happy Crocheting
I have been designing Crochet for books and magazines for a few years now, and I have always put my complete project needs and notions in a separate bag, normally a sturdy supermarket carrier bag, you know the plastic type that you have to pay 10p (or more) for - the same ones that make that awful crackling sound each time you delve into it, especially when the family are sitting down in front of the TV and it seems 10 times louder!  Well guess what - I fret about that no longer!
Mike from Happy Crocheting, sent me his Yarn or Wool Bag / bin to review and I was more than happy to do so, once I saw a picture of it from the link he sent me, which is where he sells them via Amazon

The Make Up:happy-crocheting
Happy Crocheting cleverly use a robust woven exterior with a lovely cotton (not cheap tacky plastic) interior.  The round base is 26cm in diameter & with a height of 30cm there is plenty of room on the inside (more of that later).
There is a generous pocket on the front where you can stash your pattern, tape measure, stitch markers & more + there are three crochet hook pockets too!
The zip goes almost all the way around the top, which is really handy, as it "flips back" total, for easy access to all  your crochet goodies inside.
There are 2 long slits in the lid of the bag where you can pass the tail ends of your wool through & a sturdy handle with the option of attaching a shoulder strap should you need to travel with this delightful product.
First Impressions:
When this bag arrived, I was impressed with not only the quality but also the look of the bag, as it's in a lovely neutral weave that has a hint of sheen to it.
I was about to start a commission for a magazine, so I thought I would put it to the test. 
Here's what I put inside:
  • 6 balls of wool / yarn
  • 3/4 bag of toy stuffing (the lounge cushion size you buy from the shops - I kid you not 3/4's of a bag!!)
  • My project note book
  • 3 crochet hooks
  • 1 pen
  • stitch markers
  • scissors
  • tape measure
  • sticky note pad
  • washi tape &
  • a spare hook (you never know)
There was plenty of room inside for more and it all sat in this "silent" bag really neatly - not more crackling of plastic, once you had your wool / yarn tail ends threaded out of the top slits!
Using the bag:
This spacious bag was so lovely to use.  I took it on a few car journeys (when my husband was driving of course) and I hooked happily away without my wool getting tangled, but more importantly, all my wool was "to hand", as were all my other notions.
Everything you need is there! No mess, all organised, no fuss, no searching for the stitch marker every again, as there is a place for all you need for your project.
Finale:
I would highly recommend any hooker out there to get one of these bags.  I really think that this bag would be an asset to anyone that crochets.  You can take your projects with you anywhere - IN STYLE!
I already have my next commission stashed away in there!
PLEASE NOTE THAT THE PHOTO'S ARE THE MANUFACTURERS OWN AS MY CAMERA IS ON THE BLINK, BUT THIS IS EXACTLY WHAT MY BAG LOOKS LIKE.

Friday, 1 July 2016

Yarn Review: Rowan Cashmere in Light Blue





Yarn Review:  Rowan Cashmere in Light Blue  

This was made possible by Laughing Hens

I’ve been crocheting since I was a child and come into contact with many a wool and yarn so today I decided to bite the bullet and review some for you. Usually I would go for an acrylic yarn if teaching & a wool or wool blend if I was making something for a friend or myself, so I was delighted when I got hold of a beautiful ball of cashmere from the upcoming Autumn/Winter season from Rowan.
Rowan began in Yorkshire and has its roots providing wool for designers and creative crafters. It’s now a hugely popular premium fibre brand and sold all around the world. They sell a variety of yarns and are always bringing out new colours. I was lucky enough to get hold of it thanks to Laughinghens.com. However, all opinions are my own and completely honest. So here goes…

The Make Up: 

Rowan Cashmere is 95% Cashmere & 5% Wool.  It comes in dainty 25g balls, approx. length 75m (82yds).  The recommended crochet hook size is 4.5mm & this wool is made in Italy.

“It’s like holding candy floss.  You feel like you have to treat it very gently or it might break.”

First Impressions

I loved the colour I was sent. It is called LIGHT BLUE (Shade 00052), but as soon as I opened the envelope, I saw “denim”.  I love denim.  I love my jeans, I live in jeans & welly boots, as I live in the countryside & I am a part time farmer of 6 claves plus I also have 9 ducks & 2 mad Lurchers, so this immediately appealed.  Being 95% cashmere, you can only expect me to say that this wool is super soft, and it is indeed.  It’s like holding candy floss.  You feel like you have to treat it very gently or it might break.

Using the Wool               

I love wool.  Due to my age, I call every little bundle of “wool” wool, even though it’s yarn, so therefore not really wool, but this IS REALLY wool.  Using an aluminium crochet hook, I worked a small foundation chain and simply hooked a few rows of double crochet.  It was a dream to work with.  The wool slipped quietly through my fingers & didn’t split or snag or even squeak, as some wools do when being hooked.  The aluminium hook worked well with this “real” wool, allowing to flow just as it should: perfectly. 

This little ball of wonder wool unravels effortlessly as you work, out of its little doughnut-shaped cocoon, leaving you with even stitches and a good tension.  I hate it when you have to fight with your yarn (some acrylics I mean) as it seems to Velcro itself together as you try to unwind it, therefore leaving you with a slightly uneven tension.  This is really annoying - unless of course you are an experienced knitter or crocheter and you’re prepared for this.

Shades Available:                          


Rowan Cashmere  is available in Cream, Pink, Light Blue, Marl Grey, Dark Grey & Black. You can order yours direct from Laughing Hens https://www.laughinghens.com/knitting-wool/rowan-cashmere.

I am already combining these colours in my crochet designer head and coming up with a host of things that I would like to make with this wool for this coming winter, e.g. a head band to keep my ears warm when I don’t want to wear a hat, wrist warmers for when I can’t wear gloves & lots of baby booties, as this wool would be perfect for a little ones little feet.


Care:                   

Caring for this wool couldn’t be simpler; Rowan recommends that you wash it before you wear it, for the perfect cashmere softness. A 30 degree wash will do the trick, so nice and eco-friendly.  You can also get it dry cleaned, with advice sought from a specialist. 

Finale:                 

Quality is the key word here.  If you can afford it, buy it!  It’s truly sublime.  Cashmere soft, as you’d expect.  Only the best from Rowan.



Wednesday, 25 May 2016

Where has the year gone so far ?


This year has gone so quickly already!  It's now the last week of May and this is what's happened since my last blog post:



I can't wait to share this.....


I was on Amazon earlier today and I recognised my work on the front of a book that I had contributed too  Crochet Therapy



Click on the underlined book title above,  to be taken to Amazon where you can pre order this book (released July 7th)
Written by the talented Betsan Corkhill.


Wow! They are my therapy balls & the flower coaster, top left, is mine too!  I am on the Front Cover!!!!!! YAAAAAAAYYYYYYYYYYY



****************************

In other news.....

I have hatched ducklings (Indian Runner Ducklings)


I have bought another 2 calves

The black one is a Heifer Aberdeen Angus & the other is a Bull Hereford.  We have named the Florence & Freddie.


I have made time for crochet too!  Teaching, Designing & making presents and stuff for me too!

The first one here is a Star Blanket made for a baby of unknown sex, due to be born in July.  I thought I had better get it started as soon as I heard that a friend in the village was pregnant, as I never know when I am going to be caught up with commissions.


This is a Rectangular Granny blanket that I am making for one of my two sofa's, so that my dogs can sit on them comfortably and to protect the sofa a little as well!


One of my pupils made this fab Granny Square Bag & lined it too.


We had a lesson out in the courtyard, just outside my classroom


It was lovely to make the most of the sunshine & hook at the same time.  The Giraffe also enjoyed the sun in sitting is a tropical plant


This is the class that attended my Third "Crochet Weekend in Dorset" course.

It was for beginners


And they all had a lot of creative fun


and lots of refreshments including chocolate fudge cake



 The improvement in their swatches are fantastic, after practice, you can see how quickly one can improve!


I found this online & thought that I should share it with you.  Isn't it just super?


I do manage to get my feet up every now and then, but you can be assured that there is a crochet hook in my hands!


Again, I am crocheting away, with my ducks for company this time.


Another picture of me with my feet up, working on one of several blankets that are WIPS





 I taught my pupils a new stitch in improvers class.  I like it so much that I added it to yet another blanket WIP




And here I am hooking away at the Car Wash whilst my car was getting a mini valet (it really did need one - it was filthy = country life + road mud)


I came across Two Sisters on Twitter who are called Chameleon Crafts, and the have a CrowdFunder target of £500 to meet very soon.  Can you help?

Chameleon Crafters: Colourful, Quirky, Creative

Two sisters wanting to start a new online business specialising in colourful and unique amigurumi crochet kits and pattern writing.



So that's it from me for now.  I am off do diarise a few commissions that have come in from magazines this morning & then I am off to the greenhouse for a bit of a potter.


Hope you've enjoyed the read.