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Friday, 31 January 2014

Week 4 - Hookiness in Dorset

Welcome to Week 4 & Hookiness in Dorset

Hookiness is spreading in Dorset as lots of lovely crochet items are being created by lots of hooky ladies.

In no particular order....

KPK & I have been working on baby cardigans

One thing to note from the photograph above, apart from the fact that we have both progresses well since last weeks lesson is the all important question of TENSION.
We have both used the same yarn - Stylecraft Aran, and both used the same sized hook - 5mm, however look at the size difference.

In this weeks class we trimmed the cardigans with Jaeger Aran & added button holes & of course buttons

from our button stash

Haven't they turned out well?  

This is the Improvers Class

We made flowers

However my favourite part of the class is the "Show & Tell"

GS is making this lovely blanket from wonderful motifs & she's really cracking on with it now that she knows how to apply the JAYgo method to this particular peice

 She is also making a Granny Square Blanket 

And in class she made a heart, learning to increase & decrease, as she missed the "hearts" class last week. 

Here's another lovely flower by AR

And this is the Blanket that MM is working on.  This is FAB as she has finally conquered her Granny Square block!

Now for a bit of Book News - LJ, who made the Flower Headband featured in last weeks blog, has now made a beanie hat.

I love the fact that she's used her own design imagination & made a colour change for the brim + added a pom pom!

 In a One 2 One beginners class, JG has not only made Granny Squares, but has learnt to JAYgo too!

in Wednesday evening class with SS we made these lovely butterflies

The Butterfly theme continued on Thursday as I left mine on the table.  My ladies saw it & wanted to make one too

This is CF & her Butterfly Brooch.  She's also making this wonderful blanket.  Each square is a different colour and uses a different stitch or technique

 SC is working on a cushion cover made with a "fan" stitch

 & she has just finished making this scarf for her son which he wears all the time & which he kindly let her bring along to class to show off!

SC did make me laugh as she was flicking through the December Issue of Inside Crochet Magazine.  She came across my Rainbow Jumper pattern & said "Oh look that's 2 stars, I could give that a go,"  and then went on to say "It says here its made in one piece, I wonder how that could be?" so I told her that I could explain as I designed it.  She then looked at the pattern again as saw my name under the photo.  We all laughed, as the class were now all ears & I then went off to get the Rainbow Jumper for them all to see!!

So that's another convert to Inside Crochet as she likes the Star Rating they put on all their patterns, as do I.

(image courtesy of TMP / Inside Crochet - thank you)

Also - as part of the 50th Issue Celebrations for Inside Crochet Magazine this month, the Editor, Claire Montgomerie has written a little piece called "A few of my favourite things" & she has mentioned me & my Rainbow Jumper!!!

I am thrilled and honored as this is my very first garment design.

SB is making another PopCorn Blanket & PB made a "chunky" butterfly

Now we go across to Sparrow UK in Shaftesbury where SE is making this wonderful blanket

Now you may want to look away


"D" learnt to crochet a long time ago and was taught to crochet as a knitter (whatever that means) so she holds her wool totally incorrectly & combines Crochet with Knitting

She has come unstuck a few times with certain techniques & has had to resort to the traditional way of holding the crochet hook in one hand & the yarn / wool in the other

Remember you may want to look away!

More from Sparrow UK - now we are with the 4th lesson of the Beginners Class

Here is the lovely "A" aka Teachers Pet

As you can see we learnt JAYgo in class today & they all did really well

Can you see the concentration on their faces!!

"S" brought this in to show me that she has been practicing her Granny Squares.  She used a Bamboo Yarn

And "V" has also mastered JAYgo

By the end of the class they had joined 4 squares & the good news is that the ALL want to come back for an Improvers class!!

I can't blame them as SE always makes such tempting cakes and lots of tea & coffee to keep us going!

There you go, you see - that's a lot of Hookiness going on in Dorset this week!

The London Knittting & Stitching Show

If you don't already know, I am organising a coach trip from North Dorset to the London Knit & Stitching Show on Friday 10th October 2014

If you are interested in joining us then please get in touch campbellmac44@gmail.com to put your name on the list.

The cost (to be confirmed) will be around £37 which will include the entrance fee.
My names on the list & there will be lots of Crochet Fun to be had on the coach trip itself, however that info is top secret at the moment!!

Saturday, 25 January 2014

Week 3 - Lots of HOOKING going on!!

The lovely ladies at The Wool Loft 
sent me two 100g beautiful hanks of 100% Lincoln Longwool to review

As it was a Chunky weight wool, I immediately thought of my "Chunky Warming Sock" pattern.

First I had to wind the hank into a ball with the help of my wool winder & then I got my hook out and got to work

I changed my basic pattern  (available here) , which is suitable for beginners - yes you CAN crochet socks,  to the one you see above and I can't tell you how pleased I am with them.

The wool itself is a delight to crochet with.  It looks a little rustic (which I like) however it is so smooth and silky feeling that it floats through your hook & is a pleasure to crochet with. It runs beautifully through your fingers, so much so that you don't want the experience to end.

As socks go - these are the best I have ever worn & as you probably know by now I have about 10 pairs of Crochet Socks in my collection.  Being 100% wool they keep your little toes 100% cosy toasty & at £8.99 a hank (you will need 2 for a pair) this little purchase of luxury is one that you won't regret.


Now for more "hookiness"

My favourite supplier The Yarn & Craft Shop are now stocking thee GREAT hooks by Clover

I had already bought the 6mm (brown) and the 4mm (purple) hooks some time ago, as these are the hook sizes I use the most.  I was waiting for The Yarn & Craft Shop to start stocking these wonderful hooks (whilst saving up at the same time) as they do mean that I can crochet for longer as they are so comfortable to hold, so I purchased another 3.  Only 3 more to go!!

Now for some classroom news - This week I taught 22 lovely ladies over 9 workshops / classes & here are some of the Crochet Creations made.....

At Sparrow UK in Shaftesbury we made Roses

In a private class we have started to make a baby cardigan & I have been reliably informed that progress has been made!

In Wednesday Evenings class we made flowers

Using new stitches & techniques

but not only that  - SS has made her first sock!

And in the week she sent me this picture

Aren't they just FAB!! I have a pair of bed socks & welly socks just like that. SS came to a 4 week Beginners workshop in November & look at her now - already crocheting socks!

In another class we made more hearts

And back at Sparrow UK we were treated (as always) to home made Coffee & Walnut Cake & Coffee
YUMMY - one of my pupils told me that she was "Teachers Pet" (she was a teacher herself before she took early retirement, so she should know all about this subject) and then she produced a copy of my book, which she then asked me to sign.  I was thrilled - a book signing!!

I must admit that I had to practice my signature as there is so little one signs these days

Did I mention that I like Crochet Socks?  LOL - here are just a few pairs drying on the Aga

Now for more "book" news

This fellow "Tweeter" bought my book recently and then sent me this photograph.  She's completed Project 1 - Flower Headband, which she has made a jolly good job of, & she's now started on Project  2 - A Beanie Hat

"Just started the beany hat. Love yr instructions feeling I'm getting somewhere at last with my crochet."
This is such great feedback to have & makes me burst with pride as LJ has learnt to read a crochet pattern!

News from Online Crochet Course 1:
This is a good 1st attempt - the stitches of Double Crochet are very neat, but the edges are wonky

But JB realised that and knew she had to practise & that's exactly what she did

Ta Dah - straight edges have been mastered 
& she now has a crochet bookmark

Fantastic work - I am so proud of your great work.

If you are in the Blandford Forum area on the 24th March then do come along to this fantastic Vintage Fair at The Corn Exchange from 10am to 4pm.

I went last year & it was one of the most well attended QUALITY fairs I have been too in a long time.

I'll be there with my crochet hook doing demonstrations this year!

I ended the week in style as my Pupil PD came for a private lesson bearing gifts

Her lovely mother made this Triangle Blanket chart, so that we now know exactly how many triangles "in formation" one will need for the 2014 blanket.

Thank you Mummy PD  - I couldn't have done this myself

Here is PD working away, sewing in ends (which is an art in itself) on her Triangle Blanket

And here is HER hook set - she got it as a Christmas present & I am, needless to say, a little envious

They look lovely as a set - so "Rainbow"

And finally - today is Day 25 and here is my 25th square.

Until next week fellow hookers.

Oh yes, I will be producing the next newsletter soon so if you don't want to miss out