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Monday, 30 April 2012

Granny A Day 121 & Crochet Class News!

My "Saturday Lady" came for a Crochet Lesson today.  She has a weeks holiday, so no I haven't gone mad as I know it's Monday!!

She invested, very wisely, in the 200 Crochet Blocks for Blankets, Throws & Afghans Book by Jan Eaton (click HERE if you want to get your copy) which is a book that I have myself and is an investment as you can use it over and over for all sorts of projects.

Anyway, she came in with a multitude of fantastically Crocheted squares
Here are just a few

And one of the things we covered in her lesson was joining with Double Crochet.

We also followed the square no. 22 "St Petersburg" which covers fptr & bptr
Front Post Treble & Back Post Trebles
This is my one, which I have made into GAD 121

OK, OK so I have cheated a little bit today, but 

I thought it would be a shame to frog it. I know that the sides look a little wonky at the moment but they will soon straighten out once other squares are joined.

We also covered Square 38 "Dahlia" which uses Popcorn Stitches
We also went over the "ripples" cushion in another favourite book of mine
As she was having problems following the pattern.  It was a little strange, as she's already made two, yes TWO of these cushion covers before.  It was just the way the pattern was written that was stumping her this time!!
I must agree that the way the pattern is written in Black & White is a little questionable and in my opinion and that of "Saturday Lady's" can be written in a more self explanatory way.

So we covered all the "want to's" on her list
Joining Squares
Ripples Cushion 
Blocking Squares
and we even went through
How to add a zip to a cover instead of closing the cushion inner inside
All over a nice cup of coffee too
Which was a great achievement in 2 hours!

I am really pleased with how the lesson went & I am sure that my pupil was too.
It's a real thrill for me when pupils who started as Crochet Beginners, slowly climb the Crochet Ladder and start to work on more advanced stitches and techniques.

*I am smiling*

Sunday, 29 April 2012

Granny A Day 120 & Knitting & Crochet Blog Week 3KCBWDAY7

It's Day 7 of the Knitting and Crochet Blog Week (3kcbwday7) and what a fun week this has been.

I must now admit that as much as I have loved all the topics covered this week, my favourite day was Day 5

Making the Video Blog or VLOG was such a laugh and I am still chuckling away to myself now when I think about it.

If you didn't get to see it then 

Now for the final day of Knitting & Crochet Blog Week
Day 7 

Crafting Balance 
Are you a knitter or a crocheter, or are you a bit of both? If you are monogamous in your yarn-based crafting, is it because you do not enjoy the other craft or have you simply never given yourself the push to learn it? Is it because the items that you best enjoy crafting are more suited to the needles or the hook? Do you plan on ever trying to take up and fully learn the other craft? If you are equally comfortable knitting as you are crocheting, how do you balance both crafts? Do you always have projects of each on the go, or do you go through periods of favouring one over the other? How did you come to learn and love your craft(s)?

Are you a knitter or a crocheter, or are you a bit of both?  Well I started off as a knitter, then I learnt to Crochet, but now I just Crochet as I am totally "hooked" and a total addict.  I feel strange if I don't crochet something, however small, a day.

If you are monogamous in your yarn based crafting, is it because you do not enjoy the other craft or have you simply never given yourself the push to learn it.......? I was and probably still am, a very accomplished knitter, but my love is now solely with Crochet.  I do sew by hand and using a machine & have made many items plus, I can also embroider, in fact I can turn my hands to most crafts and would like to start patch working soon (If I can ever find time to put my hook down) 

Do you always have projects of each on the go, or do you go through periods of favouring one over the other? 
I always have about 3 projects on the go!  I am currently making a cardigan, along with one of my students (like a crochet-a-long) so that she can learn to follow a pattern of this size.  Then I have a Baby Blanket on the go, plus I have a Summer Top to finish and of course my ongoing / daily Granny A Day Crochet square to make so a nice variety as they all use different yarns and different sizes of hooks.

How did you come to learn and love your craft?
I learnt to Knit and Crochet at a very young age.  I carried on learning various genre's at school, including needlework (I remember our needlework teacher Mrs Ashworth saying "The lazy mans way is the hardest" all the time - in other words, don't cut corners as it doesn't pay) and cookery and in later years I took up embroidery and cross stitch.  I loved doing them all at different stages of my life, but now Crochet is the one that I have felt more comfortable with for the longest time.  Since I started to teach crochet I have fallen more and more in love with the craft, especially when I see what my pupils have accomplished.  It makes me feel like a proud mother duck!

Granny A Day 119 is dedicated to the rain!

I have crocheted every row in shades of Green as when I look outside to my garden, and the parkland beyond, I can see very lush green grass - which is all thanks to the rain!

And here are all 120 squares looking super fabulous if I may say so myself!

Hope  you've all had a great crocheting weekend!

Saturday, 28 April 2012

Granny A Day 119 + 3KCBWDAY6

I am going to start today with GAD # 119
I don't know why, but I have had a picture of a dart board in my head all morning
so I made my Granny A Day with this in mind

And now for.....

Today is Day 6 of the 3rd Annual Knitting & Crochet Blog Week
& here is the topic of the day.....

Improving Your Skillset

How far down the road to learning your craft do you believe yourself to be? Are you comfortable with what you know or are you always striving to learn new skills and add to your knowledge base? Take a look at a few knitting or crochet books and have a look at some of the skills mentioned in the patterns. Can you start your amigurumi pieces with a magic circle, have you ever tried double knitting, how's your intarsia? If you are feeling brave, make a list of some of the skills which you have not yet tried but would like to have a go at, and perhaps even set yourself a deadline of when you'd like to have tried them by.

How far down the road to learning your craft do you believe yourself to be?  

Well I teach Crochet for Beginners and this often turns into more advanced projects very easily as my Students get addicted to crochet quite quickly and want to progress from the basics like Granny Squares & Simple Blankets to the more advanced Cardigans and Toy Making, so I am pretty far down the road, but at the same time I am still learning the more I Crochet!  If I come across something I don't understand, like a new stitch name or technique, then I simply refer to my Crochet Compendium (Jan Eaton) or I Google it and either follow the instructions or watch a You Tube video tutorial, so yes, I am still learning, but how far down the road I am I may never actually know!

Are you comfortable with what you know or are you always striving to learn news skills to add to your knowledge base?

I am comfortable with what I know about Crochet so far, but at the same time I am always not only striving but happy to learn new skills, that goes without saying!

Can you start your amigurumi pieces with a magic circle, have you ever tried double knitting, hows your intarsia?

Yes, I can start amigurumi and other pieces with a magic circle! There's a real knack to getting it right, I have to say and it did take me a little while to get the hang of it, but it's like riding a bike - once you know how to do it you'll never forget it.  I have never tried double knitting and my intarsia is ok but Knitting is not my forte or my passion, so I haven't held Knitting needles for about 10 years now!

If you are feeling brave, make a list of some of the skills that you have not yet tried but would like to have a go at.....

I would love to learn to Tunisian Crochet.  It's a skill that I have been meaning to conquer for a while now, however I never seem to have the time.  I must buy a Tunisian Crochet Hook and a book or look it up online and get going.  Maybe I will do just that right now and hop over to EbaY to see what they have on offer??

Friday, 27 April 2012

Granny A Day 118 - Knitting & Crochet Blog Week Day 3KCBWDAY5

Something A Bit Different
It's back, and this time it has the most amazing of prizes (look for the prize for 'most creative post'). This was a massive success last year, and for many it was the highlight of the Blog Week, so this year you are challenged, again, to find a new way of blogging.
This is an experimental blogging day to try and push your creativity in blogging to the same level that you perhaps push your creativity in the items you create.There are no rules of a topic to blog about but this post should look at a different way to present content on your blog. This can take one of many forms, but here a few suggestions:

  • Wordless, photographic post
  • Video blog post
  • Podcast
  • Cartoon/sketch of an idea
  • Write about a subject from a different perspective (for example, you could write about a day in the life of a knitted sock from the point of view of the sock).
  • Interpretive modern dance (why does someone always suggest this?)
  • A poem or piece of rhyming verse
  • Stop motion animation
The grand prize for Knitting and Crochet blog week, as donated byJenACKnitwear and Fyberspates will be given to the most creative blog post after a nomination and voting round, and due to the immensity of the prize it is really worth putting  bit of time and effort into this. At the very least you will get an amazing blog post out of it.

So today's code is 3KCBWDAY5

OK, I have never made a Video Blog Post before so this has been a bit of a challenge for me.  I was preparing myself for my presentation, you know, like a TV personality would, hair, make up, breathing exercises etc., when I was out voted and this happened.....

I do hope that you enjoyed that little VLOG ( a video blog ) presented by Choccie

Now for GAD 118 

Here it is just starting to "Join as you Go"

And a little further into the Corner I go

And it's done

So today is Granny A Day 118

Are you keeping up to date with your Granny A Day project?

Thursday, 26 April 2012

Granny A Day 117 + Knitting & Crochet Blog Week 2012

To start today's blog post I would like to thank my friend Calum & his Mum.

His Mum hasn't been well recently and is now in a care home, so Calum brought around some of her crafting things for me to have.

I was thrilled to find 2 Crochet Monthly Magazines that were published in 1991 which was full of "doily" and "runners"

Thank goodness for Magazines like our current Inside Crochet Magazine which has brought Monthly Crochet up to date!  However saying that I might give one or two patterns from these magazines a go!

I was also thrilled to find a square that his Mum had started, so as a thank you to them both, I have added this square as Granny A Day 117 to my GAD Blanket

I had to take it down one row

So that I could join it to the blanket and here it is next to GAD 117

I have also managed to finish a cover

For a rather boring plain glass vase that holds my joss sticks

It's turned out very nicely and it's so colourful

So thank you to LW, one of my pupils, who bought me this 100% cotton yarn that comes from Italy!

Today is 3KCBWDAY4

A Knitter or Crocheter For All Seasons?
As spring is in the air in the northern hemisphere and those in the southern hemisphere start setting their sights for the arrival of winter, a lot of crocheters and knitters find that their crafting changes along with their wardrobe. Have a look through your finished projects and explain the seasonality of your craft to your readers. Do you make warm woollens the whole year through in preparation for the colder months, or do you live somewhere that never feels the chill and so invest your time in beautiful homewares and delicate lace items. How does your local seasonal weather affect your craft?

Spring is indeed in the air - or is it?  It's been raining here for about a week now and even though we have a drought warning in force, so a hosepipe ban too, it hasn't stopped raining since the ban was put in place - so what have I been crocheting during the last season or two?

Well in January I started on a Poncho, which is now finished.

The plan was to wear it in Spring, but so far, I haven't had the chance as it's been too wet and cold!

I also made and recently finished a Summer Top
However this remains on the Tailors Dummy as I haven't had the chance to wear it.

Now the scarf that I made I am saving up for next winter

Another Summer Top that I have started

Is slowly taking shape

I have completed the front and am now working on the back
However I am not in a rush to finish it as Summer seems like a long way away at the moment.

From the same pattern book I am also making this Cardigan

Again it's a Summer Wear cardigan as it's made from Cotton
and is my 
Cardigan -A- Long that I am making with a student (or should I say whilst she makes hers at the same time)

I always have a blanket or two on the go, it doesn't matter what time of year it is

And of course toys

They are so lovely to make, especially as they are ALL IN ONE so no sewing in of arms or legs or even ears, they are fun to make
If you want the pattern for these then click on the Patterns for Sale above tab.

I will start to Crochet Beanie Hats in the Summer Months to get stocks up for when the Autumn and Winter months kick in, so I suppose like in the world of Fashion, you always work a season or two in advance!

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Granny A Day 116 & Wild Card for 3KCBWDAY3

My Granny A Day 116 is a very bright yellow & orange combo.  I chose these vibrant colours because it's been such a dull and boringly, continuously rainy day today.

Furthermore my square today is dedicated to Beth Butcher as she's such a lovely lady and loves to crochet too!

Now for ......

As I don't have a Knitting or Crochet Hero, well apart from myself that is, and I didn't want to bore you with a story about me and my crochet addiction.....

Your Knitting Or Crochet Hero

Blog about someone in the fibre crafts who truly inspires you. There are not too many guidelines for this, it's really about introducing your readers to someone who they might not know who is an inspiration to you. It might be a family member or friend, a specific designer or writer, indie dyer or another blogger. If you are writing about a knitting designer and you have knitted some of their designs, don't forget to show them off. Remember to get permission from the owner if you wish to use another person's pictures.

I have decided to play the Wildcard today instead

WILDCARD - Craft Your Perfect Day
Plan your fantasy day with your craft, It might just take up one hour of your day or be the entire focus of the day, but tell your readers where you'd love to craft, whether you'd craft alone or with friends, knitting or crocheting something simple or spending a day learning new skills.

My Fantasy Crochet Day would be to teach CROCHET ALL DAY
Here are a few of the reasons why....

My pupils have Crocheted all of these items

And they amaze me with their their enthusiasm

And skill
From a very early stage!

Whether they come to me in group classes 

Or individually

Whether they are a total beginner

Or they are reviving a lost craft

They surprise me with these wonderful crocheted items

Each time they come to see me

Teaching makes me so happy

As I know that I am passing on a life long craft that they in turn 

Can pass on to others in time

Be it for making their own cards

Or fashion accessories


Cushion Covers

I love it when they bring their homework achievements along to their next lesson

Or when they discover that they CAN make a flower

Or a Chicken

Or join squares together for a blanket

Or indeed make Toys and Gifts for their friends (lucky friends I say)

Just look at how this FABULOUS blanket has turned out

And how this Piggy Ted (that's our nickname for it) is coming along

or how this cushion cover is beginning to take shape

I have also taught a few students the basics of using a sewing machine

So that their Crocheted Creations can be finished off correctly

I have also agreed to make a "Cardigan - A - Long" with one student so that she can read a pattern 100% correctly

And when students email me pictures of their achievements

I am so thrilled to see them

And I feel so proud

Of all their hard work

and dedication

To my favourite craft 

So here is a GOLD STAR to all my Crochet Students

And that is my FANTASY DAY with my CRAFT 

I can't wait until I move house and can host Crochet Days and Crochet Weekends - another fantasy that may soon become a reality!

Today's code is 3KCBWDAY3