Tag Archives: learn to crochet

Missenden Abbey – Day 3

Day Three started with some beautiful sunshine and everybody’s mood was really positive, we sat down and started crocheting our 3D flowers, by break time the flowers were coming along really well, and by lunch everyone had linked them to the background square too.

2015-08-07 12.43.51 2015-08-07 12.44.05 2015-08-07 12.44.24Don’t they look great!  I felt really proud as my ladies were reading the pattern and working well, just needing prompts when attempting the trickier parts of the pattern, and reminders that everything is in the pattern, we just need to read it REALLY carefully.

In the afternoon, everyone decided to continue and complete their squares, but will be keeping in touch, and I am really looking forward to seeing what they do as their first crochet project.

 

 

Missenden Abbey Day 3 – Fab Photos

Today the Sunshine was out and after packing up, having coffee in the garden I thought that you might like to see all of Missenden Abbey, such a beautiful place, EnJoy!

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Gorgeous colours and morning coffee…

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An unusual tree – anyone knows what it is, please let me know…

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A 400 year old cedar tree and more flowers…

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Wonderful abstract stained glass

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In the lounge

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Entrance

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and then home to sunflowers – I love the way these spiral around each other – for the mathematical, it is a Fibonacci series that creates this.

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Missenden Abbey – Day 2

A second brilliant crochet day, we  packed in soooo much it is difficult to remember what we did this morning.!

We started with joining a couple of granny squares that the ladies had made yesterday, using a slipstitch join, we did it so that there was a decorative ridge on the front of the square so wrong sides together, and through both loops on the front and back squares.

After this we did the dreaded foundation chain – once you can master this, everything else seems easy!  We also did all the different height stitches – from double crochet to double treble crochet!2015-08-06 13.33.00

We then started a Granny stripe pattern.  I use the one from Attic24 as it is a really easy pattern to get to grips with, and has a lovely rhythm when you get going.

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After a lovely gammon and salad lunch, we tackled tr2tog, and tr4tog, making some little samples first, and then we tackled the Ripple patttern.  another from Attic24, I love this pattern but I do know that it can be tricky – especially the first row that you work into the foundation chain.

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Some lovely wiggly ripples

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but by coffee break all the ladies had managed the first row at least, and we treated ourselves not only with coffee and tea, but also with the absolutely delicious slices of bun!

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The Garden Room – our coffee and cake space!

By the end of the day and while there had been a lot of frogging, everyone had at least changed colour once.

We are looking forward to tomorrow and a 3D flower block, with the start of a larger crochet project that we can take home to complete!  Ripple, granny square or stripe – we will have to wait and see!

 

 

Missenden Abbey – Day 1

Gorgeous view out of my window this morning…

Phew, that was a long day!  I met my lovely ladies at 9.30 this morning, we started by doing a bunch of paperwork, then on to the real business of the day… learning to hold the hook and yarn (which they could all do quite happily!) and making a chain, then on to a sample, making a treble crochet, and working in rows.

We had a coffee break with delicious handmade biscuits, then back to work making holes – deliberate ones!  Which can be the basis of Filet crochet.

Lunch was lovely – shepherds pie or quiche and salad, with a delicious banoffee pie!

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After lunch – Granny squares!!! lots of counting and memorising of the pattern, but also colour changing, and how best to sew in ends – during the afternoon another coffee break and freshly made little doughnuts and then back to the grannies, we concentrated on making 3 round squares, some in the same colours, some in multi colours, we finished at 5pm, and then I stayed and set up the room for tomorrow, with worksheets, and lots more yarn to wind!

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An overall delightful day, and I am looking forward to tomorrow and wrestling with the ripple!

Missenden Abbey Learn to Crochet

I have just arrived at Missenden Abbey, and while I had another post ready to go for today, I just had to write about this!

When I got here and went to the Reception desk, they needed to find my room, so asked if I wanted to go to the Garden Room and have a coffee, which I did, the room is lovely, and opened onto the garden and there was home made biscuits which were delicious!

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Sitting here there is a 400 year old cedar tree to the left, absolutely beautiful.

Once I was settled in my lovely room in the Coach House, which is spacious, has a desk, a lovely view over the pond, with a fountain, and is ensuite, I went to set up my room for the course, I will be teaching in the Dahl room.

I then went to dinner – walking between the Abbey and the Coach House is this lovely view of the house…

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and some lovely flowers, all the brilliant colours just inspirational!

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Dinner was three courses, I met another Tutor who is teaching watercolours – she has been teaching here for years, and keeps coming back!  by coincidence I also met one of my students which was great to get to know her.

Overall I think this is going to be a brilliant few days, I am looking forward to teaching in this beautiful setting, and getting to know lots of new people!

Summer Holiday crochet

I am really excited to be back blogging, I have restarted the 30 day business blogging challenge, along with a few others on Facebook, and I am relishing the new start ,  I got to day 25 last time, and I am determined to complete it this time!

I don’t have an actual summer holiday booked, but I am looking forward to teaching a learn to crochet course over three days at Missenden Abbey.  I have heard from others recently that it is a great place to stay, and to learn.

I am also working on a project for Women’s Weekly (knitting and crochet special) some other projects – especially a blanket or two, or three, along with the other wip’s (Work In Progress) I have around…

Also during the summer I want to re-start the International Diploma in Crochet, there, I have said it out loud, now need to follow up!

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After working full-time in school for eight weeks, I can focus on the business again, I have had three more patterns published, two in Woman’s Weekly, and one for DMC in their recently published Tiny Tatty Teddy range.  I have also just completed another pattern for DMC to be put in their Christmas range published in September.

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I have also been able to go back to the stitching groups on Fridays, starting with Love 13 where they had probably the best Lemon Meringue Pie that I have ever had! And then on to Maximas where there were 13 of us crocheting and knitting in the sunshine.

Crochet and friends – nothing better for the summer holiday!

Next steps in Crochet

I have had a few customers and friends enquiring about what to do after learning the basics in Crochet, so I thought I would help you out with the next steps.

Once you have learned the basics, my recommendation is to find a great basic pattern, this could be a granny square blanket, cushion, or scarf, a ripple blanket or cushion, or similar.  by embarking on a larger project with an easy pattern, you will be able to improve your tension, and general skills, it also gives a wonderful sense of achievement when it is finished!

I would then try and improve your pattern reading skills, still picking only easy patterns.

It is 705lgetoo easy when you start to find something you love, but that is a really complicated pattern, it might look easy but there will be something that you get stuck on…although you may have the perseverance for a while, it is easy to get stuck on a particular part, and then get disheartened.  If you practice with lots of different patterns that are still simple, you will gain in confidence.  A good stitch dictionary can help you make a start, or a book with lots of different motifs at different levels (one I recommend is 200 Crochet blocks by Jan Eaton link here to my website where I have a few copies at 35% off!)  make sure you get this one with the pink cover which has UK terminology.

Once you are happy with the basics, you could experiment with different yarns, and some different techniques, which is why I developed the Next Steps course…now while you can get the basic information from my website,  I thought I should elaborate, especially as I will be running this as a 3 day Summer School at Missenden Abbey.

There are basically 5 sessions with extended project time in the last session.

Session 1: Adding texture: this is where you learn the differences between, shells, bobbles, clusters and popcorns – they all add texture in a different way.  these are all made with combinations of basic stitches like trebles and double crochets

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Session 2:  Cables and ribs: here you will start to use post stitches, both simple back and front posts but also how to twist stitches to create brilliant cables.  I may also have a cabled cushion cover pattern ready as well as the scarf pattern, designed by me!

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Session 3:  Lace:  this can be a scary area if you are used to working in DK or Aran yarn.  We will be using two different yarns, a plain merino lace weight yarn, but also a fluffy kidsilk type with mohair, and another original pattern.Konstance

Session 4:  Tapestry Crochet:  I really like challenging people’s perception of crochet and from a distance this can easily be compared with fairisle, we work in the round on a small phone cover, but I will also have the pattern for christmas baubles available! great fun once you get your head round holding 2 colours at the same time and following a chart!

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Session 5:  Joining and finishing: the difference between handmade (professional) and homemade.  including tips for blocking, but the main focus is on how to join motif squares, with a wide range of different styles including join as you go. (you do have to bring some squares with you to join!)

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Throughout the course we will be reading patterns, and charts, and of course I love being able to sort out any crochet questions that you may have.

Of course if you have any questions that you would like me to answer through my blog please ask below in the comments or on my facebook page!

Learn how to Crochet – Granny Square – Round 2

Ding!  Ding!   So by now you may have a little pile of Round 1’s of your Granny Square and wondering what you will learn how to crochet next?

We are going to change colour.  There are lots of different ways of doing this, the most secure of which is as follows:

  • Make a slip knot, make the loop a bit bigger than your hook, then take it off the hook.
  • insert your hook in a corner space, from the front to the back, put the slip knot back on your hook, and pull the loop through to the right side, trying to keep the knot part at the back of the square.
  • Using the loop as your working loop, make 3 chains.  the first one secures the yarn in place.
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first 3ch, Right handed

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First 3ch, Left handed

After joining the second colour of yarn in one of the chain 2 spaces

(these are all corners, at this point). I like to join mine before the yarn end I just left so that I can crochet over the ends as I go, but there’s no “right” corner to join to—after all, you have a symmetrical shape, no matter which way you rotate it)

  • make 2 trebles, then 2 chains, and make 3 trebles. You’ve just made a corner!
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    3ch, 2tr to start – right handed

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    3ch, 2tr to start – left handed

  • Next, ch1, and skip the cluster in the previous round.
  • *In the next corner space, (3 trebles, 2 chains, 3 trebles). 1 chain, skip the previous round’s cluster. Repeat from * twice more and join to the top of the first actual treble stitch you made with a slip stitch – in the video this is really clear (about 5.10).
  • make a chain and fasten off.
  • Congratulations you have made round 2!

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This would be written in pattern form

Round 2:  attach new colour, ch3, 2tr, 2ch, 2tr in chsp, *1 ch, 3tr, 2ch, 3tr, in next chsp, repeat from * twice more, slst to join, fasten off.

If you have started to make some squares using these posts, I would love to see them, post comments below!

 

WWW – Women’s Weekly Workshops!

I was so excited to see this article,  below is a link to the Women’s Weekly Learn to Crochet workshops that I was teaching at a couple of weeks ago. The lovely Freddie Patmore from Women’s weekly, invited me to teach alongside Jane Crowfoot (Janie Crow) Cara Ackerman from DMC, and Natalie Warner (berylliantknits)Freddie-Patmore-Diana-bensted-Learn-to-CrochetWe had a lovely day, with some lovely ladies, from all over the place, some were even from Waltham Abbey and Chingford! Lunch was amazing on the roof garden with spectacular views over central London.2015-04-24 13.49.19Do click here to read the full article, looking forward to the 22nd June and doing it all over again!

3 things you need to know about Crochet UK vs US…

I thought that since I mentioned in the last post that there is a difference between UK and US crochet terminology, I thought that now would be a good time to explain the differences.

So why do I need to know the difference, I crochet in the UK?

The difficulty is there are a lot…and I think when I was selling books it was well over 50% of Crochet books on sale have US terminology, Crochet is really BIG over the pond…

The other main reason is that the majority of free patterns on the interweb are in American terms.  There are lots of BIG American companies that have reams of free patterns.

So the 3 things you need to know are stitch terminology, hook sizes and yarn thicknesses.

No. 1.  Stitches are the easiest!  the American terminology is usually one less than ours, some stitches are the same… If you want to know whether your pattern is UK or US the key stitches are sc or hdc – only US patterns have that, and htr is a UK pattern.  If the pattern has neither of these stitches, then you might have to look at the hooks or yarn to see which it is!

Crochet terms UK-USNo. 2.  Hook sizes, this is where I can see no rhyme or reason!  generally in modern UK patterns we use metric (mm) for hook sizes, this is an International measurement that suits most crocheters, and to be fair some American patterns have started to use mm for hooks, but mostly it is a series of letters… there are some numbers, and there are some missing! The middle column in the chart below is if you have older – vintage patterns, or some hooks that you have inherited and is useful to convert.  (As I am aiming for general crochet lovers and beginners here I have not put in the thread/steel hooks conversions)

Crochet hook conversion

No. 3.  Yarn, now the American yarn system is beginning to be used over here in the UK, but there is still much confusion.  I have taken some of this information from the Standard Yarn weight recommended by the craft Yarn Council in America, who have generated the standards.  The Uk terms are what I have found works over the years of converting yarns when customers came into our shop with an American pattern!

UK-US yarn conversion

Please click here to find printable pdfs.   US-UK hook and stitch conversion charts    US-UK yarn conversion

Hope these UK-US conversion charts etc are useful, I have collated them from around the Interweb, and by my own experience, and they have been pretty reliable – if you find them useful please comment.