Catch up and latest FOs

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

Have a great day everyone!

x

Sol

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Review: Learn to Crochet, Love to Crochet by Anna Wilkinson

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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… 🙂

Cropped Tee by Anna Wilkinson
Cropped Tee, Jess’s version
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Cropped Tee
Granny
Granny Stripe Chunky Sweater

 

Granny
Granny Stripe Chunky Sweater
Tweed Cardi
Tweed Cardi
Tweed Cardi
Tweed Cardi

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.

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Fan Stitch Cardigan
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Fan Stitch Cardigan
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Patchwork Stitch Sweater
Vintage Style
Vintage Style Embroidered Top

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!

x

Sol

Disclaimer: I purchased this book with my own money and decided to review it simply because I liked it 🙂