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Thursday, 28 March 2013

Day 87, Crochet Class & eLearning News!

 Look at these!

One of my eLearning students sent me these photo's earlier today

My hear soared at the sight of them - they are amazingly wonderful!

So if you want to learn to crochet too & you haven't got a crochet class near you, then here's where to come!

And now for Class news

A baby hat and 2 pairs of baby booties were brought in by one of my pupils

 And this lovely bunny by another!

 In class today, we learnt Bavarian Crochet.

Unfortunately I forgot to take photo's as we ran over time, but more next week!
It sure is a wool eater of a project!

 Day 87 is this lovely Emerald Green Square thanks to @MrsSut 
who I met for a coffee today - both thanks to Twitter - it's lovely to make new friends!

Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Day 86 - Knitted Teddies

My Mother in Law has continued to knit her Teddies for Charity, however due to the cold weather, she's now made them Welly Boots, Gloves & Scarves!!

Day 86 is this lovely "port" colour

I am sorry but that's all I have time for today.

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Day 85 Lots more inspiration from Twitter Crochet Folk & Class News

This WIP is going to be a scarf by @ericawhiteman who's feeling the colder weather in this extended winter season - aren't we all?

@hloades sent me this great WIP


And this lovely, lovely bird feeder is from @Caffechino & is made from Twine!
The poor thing now has sore hands!!

 And now for Class news!

These beginners have completed their 4 week workshop, but wanted to come back for more!!

This is "C" who is getting to grips with colour changes in a Granny Square

And "L" who is perfecting hers

And this is "J" who despite her disability is cracking on

And these are the Granny Squares they completed by the end of the class!

Haven't they done well?
I am very proud of them all!
And Finally!

Day 85


Monday, 25 March 2013

Day 84 - Not a lot to tell you - sorry - only joking!!

Take a look at this lovely blog

by my Twitter Friend Mrs Crafty Pants (don't you just LOVE that name?) @mrscraftypants if you want to follow a great twitter!

Now, she sent it to me, to show off her new Granny Square Blanket & you have to admit that it's beautiful.

She also put in the amount of hours she'd spent in creating it, so I decided to do a little calculation & left a comment for her which said

"I love it and I love the way you've calculated the time it's taken you too! So paying you the minimum wage of say £6.20 an hour and not taking the cost of the wool into consideration that's £365.80"

So do think carefully before you give your works of art away willy nilly - make 100% sure that they go to someone that will cherish them forever, turn them into a family heirloom but in the meantime, be possessively selfish about sharing it before handing it to the next generation!

I have had a teaching free day today, and although I didn't complete the 200% on my Top Secret Project yesterday, I did managed to make up for it today and whatever it is that I am working on is looking rather delightful, so much so that I really don't want to post it to the person that commissioned it, when it's finished!!

Day 84 (where is this year going?) is 


Another new colour added!
I must sort out all the bits of wool and yarn that I have been sent as I know some are doubles of what I have already and some people have been so generous that I have plenty for more than one square, but I only have time for my commission work, blogging & teaching crochet at the moment so it will have to wait!

And now for some WIP's from other Crocheters to inspire you all.....

This lovely blanket to be is a WIP from @MrsSnufflebean

And this is a headband WIP from @brklynhousewife over the pond in USA who is a lovely lady, who crochet's & knits a lot for charity

And I just love this Heart Wreath by +Alithealien Crochet 

She's also and Amigurumi expert & has made the group KISS

 And @mrspeacock has started this Bunny from @simplycrochet magazine

And if you follow this link....

You will see an amazing WIP from @alinurts

And Finally - News Just In!
Inside Crochet Magazine is available for sale this Thursday 28th!
Just in time for the long Easter Weekend!


Sunday, 24 March 2013

Day 82 & 83 Plus lots more!

Isn't this Granny Square Blanket just amazing?

It has been made by a lady who enrolled on my eLearning Course

only a few weeks ago!

You may remember these pictures

...that she sent me only the other day!

 Her progress is amazing & she's now well and truly hooked!

 I hope that these photo's will inspire others to enroll and all the others who all ready have to keep on practicing lots and lots more - I know you can do it ladies, so keep those photo's & comments rolling in!

Now for another 2 Squares for the Twitter Blanket

Both thanks to +Alithealien Crochet who sent me her scraps

And I can still guarantee that all 83 squares are made from different colours!

Now for another amazing pupil

This time she's not an eLearning pupil but one that comes to me for One2One lessons

She found a pattern that she tried to follow a few times, but for whatever reason it defeated her.
It's all down to experience of pattern reading, so we dedicated the lesson to following the pattern together, and despite going over time WE DID IT - yes we did - we got one bootie completed & then she made the other one at home all by herself!! 


I am still working away like a Beaver to complete Secret Project #2. I set myself a challenge yesterday & I complete it 100% and so far today I have completed 160% of my challenge, however with a few hours left in the day I am hoping to get to 200%, so that I can get to my deadline ahead of schedule.
If I do I will have my husband to thank for helping me along the way with puppy sitting, dinner cooking & either helping with or ignoring the  house work that needs doing (nothing tragic but its just not up to the standard that I normally strive too)

If you do have a little time to spare after reading my ramblings, do pop over to see this new Crochet Blog.

This lovely lady is a great crocheter & want's to get her own ETSY shop up and running to help support her wool addiction.  To help her on her way a few more blog followers wouldn't go amiss!

Well that's it from me for the weekend.  I may or may not pick up my hook again tonight - I probably will but after 6 hours of solid crochet today, I may not!!



Friday, 22 March 2013

Day 81 - Baby Booties & another square for today

 Today's One2One lesson was with "K" who couldn't Crochet when she took her first lesson with me a short while ago, now she is all geared up to read patterns!

So we went through this pattern from Simple Crochet Magazine and with a little bit of extra time added in, she nearly completed one Baby Bootie!
Her challenge before I see her next, is to complete the other one, so she'll be reading the pattern solo.

Now for Day 81

Which is thanks to @alithealien from Twitter who kindly sent me any envelope full of yarn bits yesterday.

I love these variegated colours.

I continue to work on Top Secret Project #2
I now have dimensions to work too and an extended deadline too so that helps.

Thursday, 21 March 2013

Day 80 - 2 Crochet Workshops News & MORE!

 This is the link to my "yarn" or should I say "wool" friend across the pond.

On her latest blog posted earlier today, she mentions that I have inspired her, so go and take a look & see for yourself!

My beginners class this morning went very well!
Last week we worked on Flat Rounds, in preparation for learning Granny Squares today and that's what we did - Granny Squares - YAY - I love Granny Squares, however I forgot to take photo's so I will have to send them to you next week!

Day 80 is this "Rose Pink" square.  Another new colour for another new day!

And here they all are - no 2 squares are the same colour so far

And that's all thanks to either pupils or Twitters like @alithealien who donate scraps of wool to me - I had a lovely surprise in the post today from Ali so thank you Ali xx

Now for the Intermediates

As you can see they have worked really hard on their crochet projects

 With Join as you Go being a firm favorite

We have already come to the end of this 4 week workshop - where did the time go??
The good news - Crochet news - is that they all want to come again for more classes!!!

If you click on this link then you will see a FAB Crochet top worn by Kimberly Walsh
Very inspiring!
Thanks to @Helen B Proofreading for sending this link to me

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Day 79 - Crochet Designer update & Wool in the FLESH!

 Yes, my first thing to tell you is about wool in the flesh - I kid you not!

We are lucky enough to live a stones throw from the Trailway in North Dorset, which you can walk or Cycle on, so we take our puppy there every morning and walk for about 2 miles either one way or the other.

However this morning, as you can see there was a bit of a traffic jam of the "woolly" kind!

Here's the video!

 Once home and still awaiting the go ahead on Secret Project #2, I decided to sort out stitch markers into lots of lovely colour mixes.

If you need some stitch markers then I sell them in packs of 10 for £2 + £1 P&P to the UK


 Crochet Designer Update

I sent Project #1 via Special Delivery and via email I got 

On another note, your project has just arrived on my desk and it's gorgeous! Everyone absolutely loves it, so many thanks for your hard work on this!

Hooray & after another few swatches of Project #2 & colour changes I now have the go ahead to get this project worked ASAP


And after all that here is Square 79!

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Day 78 - Granny Squares with Students!

I spent this morning packing up Top Secret Project #1 & email off the pattern - phew! It was all sorted at the 11th hour & I worked like the wind to get it ready in time.

Now for Top Secret Project #2! I made a colour swatch, which wasn't 100% right, so I had 2 hours mid day today & 1 hour after teaching from 2 till 4 to get another one to them.  I am waiting their answer!

My Beginners class went really well today - they were all pleased to have started Granny Squares and they all went at a different pace, but I swiftly ran around the table from one pupil to another, getting them all to where they wanted / needed to be!

Homework for next week is to start a NEW Granny Square (in a new colour) of at least 5 rows & bring the one that they made in class with them!!  I am doing this to get them to read and understand the pattern as this is something that needs to be practiced by all beginners!

Unfortunately I forgot to take pictures so you will need to check back next week.

Day 78 is still managing to be made in a new colour

Monday, 18 March 2013

Day 77 - A Day or 2 in the life of a Crochet Designer #Part 2

Here is the other side of the Day or 2 in the life of a Crochet Designer, so that you won't all think it's so stressful!

As a Budding Crochet Designer, you have to knock on a lot of doors in the form of sending a lot of emails to magazines and such like, sending them photo's of what you have designed.

If what you have designed fit's their remit at the time, then you get an email reply saying something like "Yes, I like that and if you can get the pattern written, with the piece in the post by the deadline of XXXX we'll pay you £xx.   We will send you the wool / yarn, which should be with you in a few days."

So you get your pattern in tip top shape, which should already been written and ready to go e.g. tested, whilst you wait for the wool / yarn to arrive.

The wool / yarn arrives and you drool over the content of the box for about 5 minutes, as it's normally something very nice, which  you may not normally be able to afford for all of your own personal projects, but maybe the odd one here and there and after checking that the amount of  balls in the box matches the stock sheet, you get your hook out.

You put everything else to one side and get going.  Sometimes it all goes perfectly well & you sail through your design, following the pattern, but at other times, which is quite rare,  a mistake or 2  appears that you hadn't noticed before (or your tester!), despite having worked the pattern several times - hey ho - you make the corrections and you crochet on.

With the magazines & publications I have dealt with, you are sent a pattern format to follow - so that's easy.  You are also sent a copy of a contract and sometimes you have to invoice the publication to get payment, other times you don't.  As long as you read it all and follow all the correct steps then it's all quite a flowing process.

Each Magazine or Publication will have their own steps to follow and different paperwork to complete so you just have to remember which one you are dealing with!

And there you have it. The NICER side of Crochet Design !

 Now for some FAB news!

Victoria Thomas
who won the GiveAway
So a FREE Crochet eLearning course, 2 balls of Stylecraft Special Chunky & a 6.5mm hook is on it's way to her!

Now for Day 77

 Thanks to @MrsPeacoc from Twitter who sent me this lovely black sparkling number!

And finally
I know it's knitting, not crochet, but its made with wool
These are the bears that my lovely Mother In Law is making!

So Cute!

Sunday, 17 March 2013

Day 75 & 76 Includes A Day or Two in the life of a Crochet Designer!

This is a photo from a lovely lady on Twitter that is trying to learn to crochet from a book

And these photos were also sent from a Twitter lady who has enrolled on my eLearning Course

Can you spot the difference?

I rest my case!

Do like the lady who sent me the picture on the left did and enroll today!

Now for

A Day or Two, in the life of a Crochet Designer:
Being commissioned to work a specific piece to the requirements of the commissioner.

You get the call or the text / email & you get excited.  A million ideas start whizzing through your head & if you are not next to your crochet hook & stash of wool at the time, you start mentally crocheting a design in your head.  Once you are united with your wool & hook you get to work!
You may make 5, 7, 10, 12 or more mock ups of your idea, submitting the best ones for approval. Then you either get a "no" which is when you go back to the drawing board, or you get a "yes" so you await the arrival of the wool or yarn that your commissioners want you to use.

Work starts again in earnest & photo's are taken along the way & emailed off.  You get emails back saying "FAB" or "Wow, that's wonderful", so you forget the housework, forget to eat, forget to walk the dog & try to arrange your day around your commission, dedicating as much time as you possibly can to it.

You steam ahead, trying to either meet or beat the deadline you have been given, working perfectly and with the greatest precision and you start to put your piece together, still taking photo's & emailing them across for approval just in case!

The approval comes & you smile contentedly with less fear and more of a glow - you are there, nearly at the end, with only a few more bits to add and finishing touches to make when you get an email out of the blue.....

"can you possible try XXXX with this colour scheme please?"

and this email arrives last thing on a Friday night when you had the whole weekend more or less free to work on dotting the I's and crossing the T's.


So the project goes on hold.
There is NOTHING you can do.
There's no point it trying to finish off as it might be your time and their wool / yarn wasted as there may not be enough wool / yarn if you DO have to start over!

If you do have to start over how do you fit it all in to your schedule AGAIN?
You get paid £x amount for
Pattern Writing
Pattern Proofing
Double checking the pattern proofing (as you start to doubt yourself & you can't get it checked as the project is top secret!)
Making the Piece &
making sure it gets to them via Special Post

If you have to start again you still get paid the same amount!

I mentioned pattern writing.  This can take an age in itself.  You scribble notes as you design your piece, so you are crocheting and note taking at the same time, which is not an easy task when you hold your hook & pencil in the same hand!

Once you have a thousand scribbles on your page, you then have to type up a word document.
You try to make sense of your scribbles which DID make sense when the pencil hit the paper, but you take a deep breathe & type away, trying to remember everything that you have to include like the wool / yarn used - did you list all the colours? did you add the hook size, what stitches are you using, have you explained any special stitches you might be using - tension - will tension apply? The list goes on!

You then read and re read the pattern and as you can't get it checked by another crocheter, you then have to follow it yourself as if you have never seen the pattern before, as if you were following someone else 's pattern from a book, the internet or a magazine.
So you start to crochet YOUR pattern as if you're making it for the first time and you then find the errors - no matter how careful you've been there's always at least one, you get to the end and with a satisfied huff, you take yourself away from the computer, the crochet hook the wool, the table you have been sat at for hours & go and make a cuppa to get away from it all for 5 minutes.

You return to your "spot" and feel that you have to go through it again just to be 100% sure so you do.

So there you have it.
The project in question is now on hold, when I could have been finishing it off today and popping it in the post tomorrow.

So now I am waiting for "that" email to come back to me.  Fortunately my contact is a crocheter and she understands exactly what I am saying e.g. I can't just snip bits off and change the colour as the yarn (cotton) will snag.  She said she'll speak to the "boss" and see if her explanation will help.  If it does, I can crack on tomorrow, finish the project off and post it on Tuesday.

Then I can start on the next project, which is even more colourful, which is great, however it's for the same people!!!

So there you have it - a day or two, in the life of a crochet designer.  It's not all a bed of wool you know!

As you may or may not know, I am a "glass half full" not a "glass half empty" girl, so my silver lining to this cloud is that I have time to tidy up my hook case......

And make my Squares for days 75 & 76

That's all folks

&  remember

If you want to crochet like this

Not like this

Then you need this

And the first 10 people to use BLOG10 promo code, you'll get 10% off
There are no time limits
You don't have to leave the comfort of your living room
You can work at your pace
and have fun Crocheting your time away!

If you know the basic stitches then why not try Course 2 which is now available