Saturday, 24 January 2015

Craft I love :: Crochet

my love affair with ... crochet ||

With crochet being part of my craft of the month series I cast my mind back to when I picked up a hook for the very first time ...

How I learned the basics
It was 2007, I'd just learned to knit and for Christmas a friend gave me a copy of The Happy Hooker by Debbie Stoller*. 

Facing a Christmas stuck in my home town I packed my book, some yarn and crochet hook I'd picked up from my local craft store. 

I followed the instructions in the book and could pretty quickly form a chain. It took a bit longer to figure out how to make the second row but once I'd cracked that there was no stopping me. 

It's a shame it was only a few weeks between learning to knit and learning to crochet because although I love to knit the speed of working up a piece of crochet was addictive. 

Because the book was American and I'd picked up some American crochet magazines it took me a while to figure out there was a difference between US and UK terms. It also means that I use US terms first and foremost although and patterns or tutorials here on my blog will cover both. 

If you find me crafting at home it will most likely be crochet. 

My first project
Rather naively the first big project I decided to undertake was crocheting a blanket. Whilst granny squares are a great way of learning to crochet, I designed myself a pattern that involved 320 of them. And this was before I learned this technique. I swear the finishing took as long as the crocheting. I guess things like this are the perils of being completely self taught. 

But 7 years later the blanket is still in use, even if not for its intended purpose ...

Redfearn the cat on blue crochet blanket ||

My favourite projects
It was so difficult to choose just a few projects so I've grouped them into themes.

crochet baby clothes collage ||

Baby/Toddler Clothes - from left to right:
Little Princess Cardi - free pattern from Lion Brand. The first item of clothing I made for someone.
Cluster Yoke Cardigan - free pattern from Patons. I just loved the cotton yarn I used for this item, it was so lovely to work with
Ribbed shell top - free pattern from Cre8tion Crochet. The first item of clothing I made that used something other than sc/dc. I almost gave up when I got stuck with the underarms but I figured it out in the end!

crochet baby blankets collage ||

Blankets - from left to right:
Lancaster Quilt - pattern from Crochet Today Magazine. This is my all time favourite crochet pattern. It has a wonderful mix of stitches so is interesting to make as well as being gorgeous to look at.
Stripy blanket - a design I created myself. I had so many scraps of yarn I wanted to use up so I came up with this idea. It mixes different gauges but I managed to keep it rectangular!
Flower blanket - flower granny square from Simply Crochet Magazine Summer 2012. My favourite colour is blue but I love the mix of pinks and purples that I used in this blanket and they really work with this motif.

crochet for me collage ||

Crocheting for myself - from left to right:
Crochet Sunflower Tote Bag - I designed this myself using a sunflower button from Sonia Karan. I love the sunny colours on this bag and the fact I transformed a bag with a print on it that I would never have used.
Stripy triangle scarf - free pattern from Lion Brand. This was the first time I'd crocheted with lacy yarn and the first time I'd crocheted with stripy yarn and I love how the strips look on the finished piece.
Crochet cushion covers - pattern from Crochet Today Magazine. If you look carefully you'll see this is the exact same pattern as the Lancaster quilt above. That's how much I love this pattern. I think the central panel looks great worked up to the size of a cushion cover.

for the love of crochet collage ||

For the love of crochet - from left to right:
Penguin - pattern from Lion Brand. This penguin takes just a couple of hours to make but is a great present for friend's little ones and the feedback from them has been great!
Beaded necklace - my own design. I've included this because it was a chance to combine my other crafty love - beads.
Mandala - pattern from A Creative Being. Mandalas are great for when you just have to crochet something and I love the different stitches I got to play around with in this pattern.

So that's how I got started with crochet - what's your story?

*there are some affiliate links in this blog post. If you click on the link and buy the product I get a small amount of commission.

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