Hello there! How is the weekend going? I had a very lazy afternoon yesterday watching Gilmore Girls and working on a new crochet pattern (details to come!), don´t you love Saturdays?
I have a quick post for you to share something I came across this week: Pom Pom Quarterly released the preview for their new spring issue and there are some lovely crochet patterns to check out.
I particularly like the Riveret pattern by Merrian Holland, I love oversized tops like that. I am really excited to see crochet featuring in great publications such as this one, though I would like to start seeing more garments and less accessories but that may be just because I have been in a “garment mood” for the last year 🙂
Go check them out and let me know which one you like the best!
Loads has happened since I last wrote in this space. I turned 30, visited my family in Chile after more than three years away, I started to learn how to weave, bought (loads) of yarn, started reading Harry Potter again, unsubscribed to Inside Crochet (is it just me or they used to be a lot better?) and much more.
I can’t really explain my absence: all I can say is that it wasn’t planned and even though I missed it I am also glad I gave myself some breathing room. Now many months later my space in the bloggersphere is calling me back so here I am everyone: older (though probably not wiser) and ready to bring you the stories that surround the stitches that make up each of my days. Again. Welcome back to my crochet (and now also knitting!) journey 🙂
Will be back soon with a sneak peek to a new pattern I am working on and some designing confessions…
Coming back to reality after the holidays is always mixed feelings: I love being back home to my bed and yarn stash but it is so difficult not to miss the amazing places I visited and the great time I shared with loved ones. These holidays were super busy but so much fun, I first spent a few days with my boyfriend in the Lake District and then my sister and one of my closest friends arrived to the UK and we did an awesome road trip through the Scottish Highlands and the Isle of Skye. I will be sharing some of my adventures here in the blog soon including a little shopping guide (featuring yarn of course) to some of the places I visited.
Everything was a bit crazy before my holidays so I didn’t have time to share how my first two knitting projects turned out. Remember the infinity scarf I was making from that Craftsy class? Well, I decided to simplify the pattern a bit and it is now finished! I really really like how it turned out, I used West Yorkshire Spinners Aire Valley Aran, it is so warm and cosy. I enjoyed so much to knit the centre in stockinette, such a simple stitch but so beautiful and different from crochet fabric. It had been a while since I had used anything thicker than 4-ply yarn so it was lovely to use a thicker yarn without getting a very thick fabric.
After finishing this project I knew I wanted to cast on a hat. I thought about starting with a very simple pattern but I’d had my eye for months on Clare Devine’s Chai pattern and decided to go for it even though it has a cable and you need to use DPNs for the decreases. The pattern calls for chunky yarn and I decided to use Ginger’s Hand Dyed in Little Cat Feet.
The pattern is great and it goes really quickly even for a beginner like me, I had a hat finished after 3 days! I only panicked with the DPNs when I was doing the crown and started to get confused with all the needles but managed to sort it out and now I have the most beautiful hat ever. I love it so much and already wore it while on our trip to the Highlands.
I already casted on a new knitting project with some very special yarn and have two other crochet WIPs at the moment, so loads to crochet and knit as usual 🙂 What is on your hook/needles? Let me know in the comments!
Well hello everyone! I am writing today to catch up on life, my crochet journey and now also knitting journey after a short break from the blog. It is summer in my corner of the world and even though the weather has not been great I have been trying to enjoy the extra light and just be out and about a bit more. I love being at home so it is always hard to get myself out the door but once I’m out I am always glad I did it. I am also still doing yoga and enjoying every minute of it, it helps with my anxiety like nothing else so really recommend it to everyone if you are looking for a different type of physical activity.
I finished two crochet projects recently that I would like to share with you, the first is my Lorelei Pullover by Dora Ohrenstein. I LOVE this top, it is just so light and summery, the colour is amazing and the stitch pattern is beautiful and unique. Very simple construction so really recommend it if you want to give it a try. I used Ginger’s Hand Dyed Swanky Lace in Girl on Fire which is a blend of baby alpaca, silk and cashmere so you can imagine how awesome this garment feels.
The other FO I wanted to share is my Penelope Top by Jenny Reid. I love the romantic look of this top and that stitch pattern is truly stunning. The back is really nice but couldn’t get a nice picture of it unfortunately… not easy to take pictures of yourself!
I used John Arbon Alpaca Supreme 4ply in Silver Fawn, beautifully soft yarn though I am regretting the alpaca a bit after getting some serious pilling issues with only one wear. If anyone has any recommendations for a good pilling remover please let me know 🙂
I am so happy with these two garments because I really like how they look and have already been wearing them proudly, that is what my handmade wardrobe focus is all about and it makes me want to keep on doing more and more garment patterns now that I know I can make them fit. You know when you are working a pattern and you realise you made a mistake or you have a feeling it won’t be big/small enough to fit you and you avoid it until you are done? Well I have been determined not to avoid those feelings and it has saved the fit of my garments more than once with just a bit more work. Trust your instincts everyone and it will save you a lot of time and effort.
My knitting is coming along, I am taking a Craftsy class that shows you how to make an infinity scarf so I am working my way through that and really enjoying it now that I have found a good position for my hands and yarn when knitting and purling. After this I would like to do a hat and a shawl, so if you have any simple patterns to recommend I would really appreciate it. For the shawl I want to use a beautiful 4-ply skein from Hedgehog Fibres that I purchased when I was in Dublin last month, it is so pretty that I know the yarn would shine in a simple knitted shawl. I thought of doing a crochet shawl but it would have to be a very open and lacy one to use just the one skein and I don’t think the yarn colour changes will show as well so I am glad I am adding knitting to my skills bucket!
What have you been up to? Let me know in the comments 🙂 I will be going on holiday this month and I have family visiting on the following month so I may not be posting as often. I try to post on Instagram a bit more often so you can check my feed there if you want to see what I am up to.
A few weeks ago I had an amazing opportunity to be part of a knitting class run by Jules from Woollenflower. If you haven’t checked Jules’ website I really recommend you do, she sells the most beautiful products, including machine-knitted cowls and small bags made out of worn Harris Tweed jackets. I had the pleasure of meeting her at the Edinburgh Yarn Festival and found her to be not only incredibly talented but also such an amazing person, so I jumped at the chance to have her as my teacher.
Now, let me tell you a bit about my knitting journey. I am not sure if I shared this but I learned how to crochet when I was about 10 years old, it was the first craft I learned and it really clicked with me straight away. I have crocheted on and off since then: it is like riding a bike, you really never forget how to do it.
When I was in high school my nanny (the most awesome knitter I know to this day) taught me how to knit and I decided to cast on a scarf with a simple ribbed pattern. It was THE-LONGEST-SCARF-IN-THE-WORLD. By the time I was finished I not only hated the scarf, the colour and everything about it, but also hated knitting. That was the last time I picked up a pair of knitting needles.
Fast forward to the last year and crochet and the fibre world have become a really big part of my life. For the last few months I have been thinking that I should try knitting again, mostly for the following reasons:
I really like how knitted fabric looks like, and that it is lighter than crochet fabric. I believe there are many things you can do with crochet, but just like knitting it has its limitations. The one thing I have never liked in crochet is hats, to this day I haven’t found a pattern that I like. The fabric is too dense and stiff if you don’t want an open stitch pattern (which you don’t if its a winter hat) and the hat ends up wearing you instead of the other way around. Knitted hats on the other hand are beautiful and that is my ultimate goal in this knitting journey: LOADS AND LOADS OF HATS 🙂
I love fibre and as I get to understand more and more about how we get from sheep to finished object I have come to be very curious about all fibre related crafts such as weaving, spinning and of course, at the centre of it all is knitting. I don’t think I could call myself a fibre enthusiast if I don’t have at least some basic knitting skills.
As some of you know I have started teaching a few workshops at Ginger Twist Studio and I came to realise very quickly that most (if not all) of those who have attended my workshops are knitters and know only a bit about crochet. I feel that I can become a better teacher if I can speak the same language as my students since this will help me understand their issues better.
Finally, I love learning and there is SOOO much to learn in knitting.
Even though these sound as very compelling reasons I also had my doubts about whether I should learn how to knit again. Knitting is slow and so much less forgiving when it comes to mistakes. Crochet is awesome in that way, make a mistake and you just rip it off and pick up again but with knitting it is a different story and I am NOT a patient person. Also, I was a bit afraid of immersing myself in the knitting world and not being able to pull out. I am a very obsessive person and there are so many knitting patterns out there that match my aesthetic, much more than crochet patterns. Could I keep crochet as my main craft with so many patterns calling for my attention?
In the end, I am glad I decided to learn. Crochet will always be my main craft but knowing how to knit will allow me to create some special items that crochet may not do so well. I see many hats in my future, simple shawls that allow me to show-off that very special skein of yarn and maybe one day a simple sweater (I say only one knowing that it will take me a lifetime to finish). Crochet is still faster and more comfortable so I know I will never lose it and right now I am just really enjoying being a beginner and learning a new skill that can only add more inspiration to my creative journey.
I still haven’t done any projects, I am just practicing my stitches for now. I will be casting on something soon, an infinity scarf from a Craftsy class I purchased. It doesn’t look simple, but I do like a challenge! If you have any tips of nice beginner projects please share them in the comments, would love to hear your suggestions.
Hi there, how are you all? The blog has been a silent for a bit but I am back today with a book review for you. When I first started the blog I did quite a few reviews but it has been a while since I have shared one. When I purchased this book however, I knew I had to talk about it.
I hadn’t heard of Anna Wilkinson before since prior to this book her designs focused on knitting rather than crochet, though I had seen her beautiful Brill shawl which was featured in Pom Pom magazine (if you are knitter you must check it out). So when Jess from Ginger Twist Studio mentioned this book was coming out I was intrigued… a knitter publishing a crochet book is not something you see often, most knitters I know don’t like crochet at all and haven’t met many who enjoy both crafts. Since I believe knitting is definitely ahead in terms of fashion and style I was hoping this was a good thing, and I am happy to say I wasn’t disappointed. This book has many patterns that I would like to try, and more importantly, that I would love to wear.
I was very lucky to try on the samples from this book and Anna has given me permission to share some pictures of me and Jess with our favourite patterns. It makes such a difference to try on the samples, it made me realise which patterns I not only liked on the page but also looked good on me and if there were any modifications I would like to do.
The book begins with an introduction by Anna which I think really touches on what might be holding people back from crochet. As a knitter herself she admits that learning how to crochet felt a bit “alien” and “fiddly” at the beginning, but just with anything in life, this passes and you get to enjoy this craft and all the amazing things you can do with it. She explains how forgiving crochet is when it comes to mistakes (which I have always believed is the definite plus compared to knitting) and how each craft has its own place and purposes.
After a great intro there are detailed instructions for crochet beginners with everything you need to work your basic stitches, read patterns, measure gauge and even change colours. Sometimes this part of crochet books is not great, but I was quite impressed to see how clear the pictures and instructions are. She doesn’t leave anything to guesswork, showing you how to wrap yarn around your hook and identifying stitches, I am guessing her background as a knitter contributed to how comprehensive the instructions are. Since I have always crocheted I have never thought about how I wrap yarn around my hook but it makes total sense to mention this for complete beginners.
After this section you come to the “Learn to Crochet” patterns aimed at beginners, starting with a simple pair of fingerless mitts and moving on to more complicated things. What I love, love, love about these patterns is that in this book “beginner” does not mean that you can only do blankets, but also beautiful and wearable garments which use a simple construction that would be easy for a beginner to follow. She uses great colour combinations which are very attractive and the photography is stunning. I particularly like the Cropped Tee, the Zig Zag Shopper, the Granny Stripe Chunky Sweater and the Tweed Cardi.
Jess has already made an awesome version of the Cropped Tee using her hand dyed yarn and I may have already purchased some yarn for mine… 🙂
I was very surprised to see I liked some of the garments here which use thicker yarns. I don’t dare to crochet patterns which use anything thicker than DK, and even that I find too thick to work with crochet. But I must admit I was very attracted to those patterns, even the Tweed Cardi which uses super bulky yarn! It looks amazing on Jess and the weight of the yarn makes it more like a jacket than a cardi.
From the Love Crochet patterns section I really liked the Vintage Style Embroidered Top, the Fan Stitch Cardigan and the Patchwork Stitch Sweater.
I would say that the one thing I missed in this book was garments using lighter yarns. Even though I was surprised to like the garments that used heavier yarns, it is still not my preference in general. I think crochet can be so much more than heavy garments, it can also have beautiful drape and shape which also suits a larger range of body types compared to garments with thicker fabrics. Having said that I think some of these garments have a very simple construction and could therefore be adapted to use a different yarn weight if required.
If you would like to purchase this book, you can find it online at Ginger Twist Studio here. Big thanks to Anna for her permission to play with her samples and to Jess for being such a stylish model! I think my modelling career would be very short… I had to erase half of the pictures because I had my eyes closed 🙂
I will be back soon with some WIPs, FOs and some knitting… yes! you read that right!
Disclaimer: I purchased this book with my own money and decided to review it simply because I liked it 🙂
My last post about summer crochet tops proved quite popular so I am back today with some more patterns for you to check out. The last post was all about what I call a typical crochet top so today I thought I would share a few that are quite stunning but may not fit with your idea of a crochet top which is why I love them even more. I am all about pushing crochet boundaries so these tops really make my hands itch!
I must mention again that I have not tried any of these patterns, though I have tried other designs by some of the designers showcased here with great results, particularly Joanne Scrace and Dora Ohrenstein. Some of these were published on magazines but checked and they are all still available as digital issues if you wanted to purchase the issue. Would love to hear what you think of these patterns and if you would like to try any of them so let me know in the comments. If you click on the picture you will be directed to the Raverly pattern page.
Hello everyone! I want to share some crochet news and events with you, I am so excited that this passion of mine is opening up some great opportunities for me to grow and explore. I have always been someone who moves from craft to craft never sticking to one in particular. I have tried crochet, sewing, knitting, cross stitch and so many more, and I was always teased in my family since I would get so excited at first to only give it up completely in a few months. I think this time is different, I know now that I will always be involved in a fibre art. I have become so passionate about yarn and would like to try all crafts that honour such an amazing resource: knitting, spinning and weaving are definitely on the list!
So first, if you are in the Edinburgh area the Indie Burgh Yarn Crawl is happening on the 13th and 14th of June. Three local yarn shops (Ginger Twist Studio, Kathy’s Knits and Be Inspired Fibres) participate and you can make your way around them on your own or sign up for a lucky dip group and get a tour guide as well. There are workshops and an after party on the Sunday so make sure to check the Facebook page for details. Yours truly will be at Ginger Twist Studio on the Sunday with all my samples, would love to meet some of you if you can make your way there.
I also wanted to let you know that I am doing workshops at Ginger Twist Studio. The next one will be a crochet colourwork class in which you will learn about the different techniques and learn how to work tapestry crochet by making an adorable little purse. This is the technique I used to make my Moroccan bag so if you liked that pattern this might be of interest to you. The workshop will be held on the 19th July from 12pm to 3pm at Ginger Twist Studio, check her website for details and booking.
Finally, I am excited to announce that I am Designer of the Month at Ginger Twist Studio during June! My samples will be on display at Jess’s shop this month along with other crochet designs by Anna Wilkinson so I am really happy to be part of her lineup (can you spot my Moroccan tote in the window? Love it!)
That is it for today, hope you are having a great week!
Hello everyone, how are you? I thought it would be good to start the month by sharing what has been on my hook lately and what I plan to start soon as well. I have so many projects I want to work on (and so much yarn waiting to be used), particularly all the summer garments that are on my queue since I want them finished by those two weeks in July that are called “summer” in Scotland.
First, I thought I should show you how my Freyja shawl is coming along. Last time you saw it I was starting my repeats and I am afraid there is still long to go. This shawl is beautiful but oh dear how much time it takes! I am about a third of the way but hope to finish it this month, have some travelling to do for work next week and have decided to bring this project along to make sure I work on it.
The yarn I am using is Ginger’s Hand Dyed Swanky Lace which is a beautiful blend of 70% baby alpaca, 20% silk and 10% cashmere in the colour Girl on Fire. This is the most luxurious yarn I have ever worked with, Jess has a great eye for colour and this one is no exception: it is just beautiful. It is definitely more on the bright side of what I usually wear but the colour suits me (after doing a quick poll in the shop) and since it is a summery item I think that is the best bet to go a bit more colourful.
The stitch pattern for this pullover was adapted by Dora from a vintage magazine, and it is very special and unique. As you may have noticed I love working on things that don’t look like crochet at first sight, and this definitely fits the bill. Gauge is tricky since the length of the stitches are determined by how much you pull that loop in each stitch, and it can vary a lot. Halfway through I realised that even though my swatch had a very loose row gauge I was now crocheting a lot tighter, so I am having to add a few more rows to make sure it is not too small.
This is also a project where you can see the magic of blocking. It makes SUCH a difference, from an uneven fabric with a huge bias to beautiful and drapey. It is hard to see how it fits before blocking so I am just trusting that it will all work out in the end, a bit of crochet faith!
So that is what is on my hook just now, very proud to have only two projects on. I am eager to start more and so I will start swatching soon for my next garment to make sure I can start as soon as I finish one of these two WIPs (definitely the pullover). Here is a sneak peak at what I will be working on next!
What are you guys working on? Let me know in the comments!
I have been so overwhelmed this last week by the response to my Moroccan tote pattern that had to write a post to say a simple but huge: THANK YOU!
I enjoyed so much while working on this design, as those of you who follow my blog may know this project was my companion through many train journeys as I travelled for work at the beginning of the year. That gold colour really did brighten up my mood every time I worked on it, isn’t it stunning?
I could not have predicted though what the response to the pattern would be and I just wanted to let you know how happy it makes me to know that I have inspired you or brighten up your own day as a result. I couldn’t find a better motivation to keep designing than that.
Thank so much to all of you who have stopped by, favourited or left a comment to let me know how much you liked the pattern. I am eager to see your projects and how your totes come to life so please post them on Ravelry or send me an email with your pictures.
I had a busy week at work so I will start catching up with the blog again now, I have some WIPs to share with you, news and events and some more summer crochet top patterns for you to check out. Will be back soon!