Tag Archives: yarn

Life, crochet and Yarn

I had a really busy, but fabulous day, first to Rachels, for coffee, and crochet – we also had some delicious cinnamon buns,  I was finishing off a design project, but Rachel has done a wonderful thing for me – she blocked a shawl that I made as I didn’t have enough space to do it at home.  What’s blocking I hear you ask?  Well all will become clearer in a future post… but basically it is about the final wetting and shaping part of the creation process when what you make moves from home-made to hand-made.  This is a before picture – you can see that the stitches are sort of scrunched up, and although it is on the floor, it was not draping properly…
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This picture is a close up of the blocked stitches, you can see that they have opened up beautifully.   The picture at the top of this post shows how well it drapes now.

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So that was the Crochet part of the three things.

Life, I went to Maddies 18th party.  Maddie has just been accepted into university, and so this was a bit of a double celebration.  She didn’t want a huge party, but just to have friends, and other people that have shaped her life.  It was a wonderful if damp party with many different ages, from grandparents to youngsters.  A great time was had by all! (Don’t you just love the Giraffe Cake)

2015-08-14 17.27.50 2015-08-14 17.25.06 And later when we were playing the Game of Empire, I spotted this in Julia’s living room… A very interesting yarn holder, with needles!!2015-08-14 19.20.29

30 hours in the day please!

This is just a quickie!  I love Dr. Seuss books, and have found out that he is eminently quotable!  There are several that I love, but this seemed appropriate, as I have tooooooo many things to do!

“So be sure when you step, Step with care and great tact. And remember that life’s A Great Balancing Act. And will you succeed? Yes! You will, indeed! (98 and ¾ percent guaranteed) Kid, you’ll move mountains.” ― Dr. Seuss, Oh, The Places You’ll Go!

because there are not enough hours in the day when you have a crochet deadline, something that has to be done, and cannot be rushed!

More news tomorrow!

Missenden Abbey – Highlights

Highlights of my first Learn to Crochet course running at Missenden Abbey.

First impressions were very good,

absolutely stunning setting,2015-08-06 17.17.28

beautiful buildings,

friendly and really helpful staff. 2015-08-06 15.44.15

great food!

Lovely ladies2015-08-05 16.37.41

Who worked really hard

with some wonderful results

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Thanks to everyone who attended the course, all the red shirts, and Will, Alison, Alison and Trish for the warm welcome and wonderful opportunity.  I look forward to the weekend courses later in the year, another Learn to Crochet, and Design and make Amigurumi

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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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!

Loving Life, Crochet and Yarn…

Three things that I love, Life, Crochet and Yarn…

Not exactly loving this, but my DS is, a track day at Snetterton He loves his bike, but for Hubby and I, watching from the Pit lane as he goes past at over 100mph takes a bit of getting used to!

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Meeting up with friends to Crochet, eat cake and drink coffee…

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And Yarn – some new yarn that I will be selling – Stylecraft Special DK in a gorgeous Rainbow pack of my own selection!  I think that a rainbow range is sooooo lovely, and i am really looking forward to making up a sample – probably granny square blanket!

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Woolly crochet blanket colours decided!

After much, much experimentation, I have decided on the colours that I will be using for my multi-pattern crochet blanket.

I looove colour so I have gathered the brightest colours in the DMC Woolly range.  2015-05-31 18.42.41

  • Top row:   075, 086, 094, 051, 052, 065
  • Middle row:  077, 082, 093, 103, 055, 063,
  • Bottom row:  074, 081, 084, 102, 043, 054

broadly, 3 blues, 3 greens 3 yellow, 3 orange, 3 reds, 3 mauves, so quite matched up as far as primary and secondary colours, even though I didn’t really plan it that way!

The next stage is to start planning the design, there will be 6 different types of pattern, some of which are motif squares, and some stripes. I’m going to start with a type of square which is as easy as a granny, but a bit more solid, I’m thinking of a heart, star or flower square, and a circle to a square type.  For the stripes I want to do something with bobbles, and a spike stitch – but I am still working on the details!

I’m looking forward to starting this blanket in earnest now, so will keep you updated as the pattern develops.  what are you crocheting or knitting at the moment?

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


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!


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!

DSC04295   bird   2014-11-22 12.03.59

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!)


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!