Long time, no see!

I unintentionally seem to have abandoned this blog! Things have been a bit all over the place for me in the last months, and my routine went out of the window for a while. As I’ve eased myself back into my other activities, such as the language learning over at Polyglot Scot, as well as music and writing, I’ve finally come around to getting back to crocheting, and no doubt I’ll be immediately hooked again! The hardest part for me is choosing a project; I seem to choose things that I have little or no use for personally, but I have not only a large family to give gifts to, but I volunteer with three charities, who each have shops, and so it’s an option for me to donate to them. I still fancy the idea of having an online shop for crocheted items, but I have too many things to devote my time to that I know I could possibly end up resenting having to complete projects for people on demand rather than what I want to do, so I think I’ll work on designing my own patterns through the end of the year and get them out rather than actual items online. 

I look forward to getting back into this hobby – and no doubt my niece will be nagging me for those mini granny square blankets for her toys again. 🙂

I hope everyone’s well! Hopefully I’ll be back here soon enough with news of impending projects (if I can choose!), and a little later down the line hopefully some designs. I’m also slowly learning to knit (but it’s hard to persevere instead of just going back to good ol’ crochet!), so hopefully I’ll get some knitting projects done too.


Spring Fling Pillow – FINISHED PROJECT

A few nights ago, I finished off the Spring Fling Pillow for Cathy’s Hook Club (see here for details), and I’m very happy with it! I made a few modifications to the original pattern by Red Heart, but nothing too drastic: I kept the pillow 12×12″, but stitched more repeats to give a tighter stitch, then added a few rows of single crochet border around the two pillow faces and also put in a zipper so that I can change the pillow inside or wash it.

More experienced crocheters said it took maybe 5-6 hours to complete; for me, I worked on it little and not very often! I think in total it probably took me 15 hours, which, considering I started crocheting at the beginning of the year, isn’t bad, I think! It’s well worth a try if you’re interested, and changing up the colors makes a dramatic difference. To see the creativity of others in the Hook Club, check out the photo gallery.

I’m not sure what I’ll do with the pillow yet. I’m thinking of giving it to my 1-year-old niece, Ellie. 🙂


For the first time in ages, I had a flip through my knitting and crochet book. Before I learned from video tutorials, the book was very intimidating and I found it difficult to follow. Looking at the patterns in there, I was very excited to do them, but thought it would be a long time until I got to that ability level. Today, I found that the patterns looked a lot less intimidating! Since completing my octagons and square afghan, I realize that crochet can make patterns and garments look very complex, but the pattern itself is quite simple! I feel that most patterns I look at now are not out of my reach at all, and in fact I have far too many to choose from, and (un?)fortunately many other hobbies that I want to commit myself to!

One problem I find reading the book is that while I have learned North American notation for the stitches, my book is naturally using UK terminology! It informs me that the difference in notation is that UK terminology does count the beginning loop on the hook, while US does not. So in what I call a single crochet, you pull through two loops, so UK calls it a double! It shouldn’t present too much of a challenge, although it might be a bit confusing at times! I’ll have to sketch down each row as I work for clarity, I think.

Anyway, one project I’ve selected to complete from the book is a clutch bag for my twin sister. It has a bow attached, and it’s a pretty little thing. She can use it to store make up or whatever she needs it for. Although she already has too many bags, something I chide her for(!), at least this one is functional! It should be quite a short project, so I might squeeze it in after I complete the Spring Fling Pillow; I’m currently making a scarf for her too, as you’ll see in my last impending projects post, but as that is simply row after row of single crochet, I just work a bit on it when I’m up for a project that doesn’t require much thinking!

Now I’m off to make some more progress on the Spring Fling Pillow! I had some trouble a few days ago with the centerpiece, and it was driving me up the wall, but the good thing is that it was correctable by simple adding in the relevant increases or decreases to make sure I had the 28 stitches for the next round. I’m excited for the finished product, although I do need to find a pillow to put the cover on!

Cathy’s Hook Club – Spring Fling Pillow NEW PROJECT

I thought I hadn’t crocheted for quite a while, since I finished the afghan, yet it turns out that was only nine days ago! For someone who only got into crocheting properly this year, that shouldn’t feel like an eternity! Anyway, I was getting some withdrawal, and so decided to make a start on my project for Cathy’s Hook Club by The Crochet Crowd.

The pattern is another one from Red Heart, this time it is the Spring Fling Pillow, for which you can find the pattern here. I don’t actually have a pillow for it yet, so I’ll simply make the 12×12″ size that the pattern makes, and see about getting a pillow later. Heard from others who have completed the pillow, it is quick work even for a beginner.

I have chosen my colors for the project (see right). The piece will be quite soft and pastel, and I think it will be quite adorable. My projects seem to have quite a lot of purple in them so far! But I thought these colors complimentary of the ones I have in my yarn collection.

The good thing about the crochet clubs on The Crochet Crowd is that you’re free to work from the written pattern, but if you prefer, each club is released with video tutorials, so you can follow them while you do your work. They are very good for beginners and should help you get used to the jargon of crochet, and hopefully with time the patterns will become less gibberish and more understandable.

Let me know if any of you are working Cathy’s Hook Club; similarly with the Afghan Club, there is a giveaway associated with the club, which you can find more about here.

WHOOPS: I forgot to add in the actual link for the pattern! So, here it is, and please let me know if you’re working on a pillow for the club too!

Mikey’s Afghan Club – Octagons and Squares Afghan COMPLETE!

This post is actually very much overdue, as I finished the afghan on 15th March! I’m very pleased with how my afghan turned out, and it’s very cosy! I actually downsized mine a little, making 12 octagons and 6 squares rather than the 20 octagons and 12 squares requested in the pattern.

The winner for the giveaway, and unsurprisingly I didn’t win as there were 496 entries! But I’m very happy because I have the blanket!

The free pattern for the afghan can be found here on Red Heart. The pattern for the next Afghan Club by the Crochet Crowd will be released on the 1st April, so keep an eye on their site. Right now Cathy’s Hook Club is going on until April 15th, if anyone is interested.

I hope to get back into crocheting again very soon and make progress on my impending and in progress projects. Right now I’m very happy with the afghan – it might look impressive, but it’s actually easier work than it looks. 😉 It’s suitable for beginners, so have a go if you want a bit of a challenge to get you going with projects.

Impending projects

I haven’t written here for a few weeks as I work through my afghan, so I thought I would write about the projects that I have in mind to work on after completing the afghan.

1. Cathy’s Hook Club – Spring Fling Pillow

The new project for Cathy’s Hook Club began today, and runs until April 15th. It is similar to Mikey’s Afghan Club, and is also run by The Crochet Crowd. You can find information on the club here.

The pattern is from Red Heart and can be found here. (Note: you’ll find yellow highlights in the downloadable pattern; this is because corrections had to be made from a previous version.) This is quite a short project; of course, it depends on your skill level among other things, but I’ve seen from The Crochet Crowd Facebook page that it takes people in the region of five hours. I will be choosing out colors for my pillow soon, and hope it’ll just be a quick project I can fit in between my other plans.

As with Mikey’s Afghan Club, there is a random giveaway for one lucky winner, which includes yarn, a yarn bag, and a mug. All giveaway rules and guidelines can be found in the link above for Cathy’s Hook Club.

2. Simple scarf
I’m building up a simple scarf for my sister using single crochet, and also plan to practice pattern writing by writing out the short pattern for it, which I’ll post when I complete it. I’m using yarn from the Patons Fab DK range in the color Clown, which is variegated and gives a really nice effect to the scarf. Using single crochet means the scarf has tight stitching and is very cosy!

3. Square design baby blanket
I have built quite the collection of baby colors, mostly of Baby Dream DK colors, and plan to build up a blanket using them. The plan just now is to have squares of colors from the center out, for which I will write up a simple pattern and post it here. I don’t know yet what I’ll do with it, but I do have a nephew who is seven months old, so it may end up going to him. 🙂

4. My first real design
For the two projects above, I’m going to practise writing a pattern, but they’re pretty simple and don’t have much actual design input from me, so I’ve come up with an idea with more design involved, and I hope it’s not too complex for me! It’s just a decorative item with no function, but it would work as a baby toy too. I don’t want to give away anything about it until I’ve made some progress and can see that it’s going to turn out alright! Here’s hoping all goes well on it, and I can post the pattern here for anyone’s use if they like it.

So those projects should keep me going for a while yet! I think my biggest problem with crochet is seeing too many projects that I want to work on, and having to choose! After my first attempt at a hat went quite wrong, as it was my first ever project, I want to try that again soon, as my stitching is more uniform now. But it’s not in my “official” project plans quite yet. If any of you take on any similar projects, or decide to participate in Cathy’s Hook Club, let me know, and send pictures of your work if you wish. I hope you enjoy these projects!

Mikey’s Afghan Club – Progress

I’ve completed one of each of the four different motifs of the afghan I am making for Mikey’s Crochet Club on The Crochet Crowd, and so thought I would update to show how they look.

As you can see, there are really only two different motifs, but there are two versions of each. The full pattern can be found here, and my previous post on this project is here.

With hope, the next time I post about this project will be when it’s all stitched together and completed! If anyone uses this pattern, I would love to see your pictures. I would love to make a Readers’ Gallery if I had enough submissions. 🙂

Mikey’s Afghan Club – The Crochet Crowd

One of the projects I am working on now is an afghan blanket, as I’m participating in the monthly crochet club on The Crochet Crowd. See this link for the announcement of the February 2013 Afghan Club announcement.

Mikey, or Michael Sellick, runs a fantastic site with help from others, and I actually learned to crochet very easily from his video tutorials in YouTube. The site offers free patterns and many useful resources, and is definitely worth checking out!
Watch Curtzy Crochet Hooks’ series on learning crochet with Mikey on YouTube

The afghan that the club is making is based on a free pattern from Red Heart. It is the Octagons and Squares Throw, which you can find a free pattern here. In basic terms, it consists of making two different motifs, 20 of one, and 12 of the other. Half of each are using one color, while the other half uses the other color. Four colors are used in total for the throw.

I will post pictures of each motif when I’ve finished one copy each of them. It’s an exciting project, and is surprisingly easy enough even for a beginner; the final product looks way more complicated than it actually is to make! If you can’t read the written patterns, Mikey’s YouTube channel (linked above) offers tutorials on learning to read them, but also, the Afghan Club releases videos to show you how to complete this specific pattern! You can use whatever colors you like, and additionally, if you upload your finished product to The Crochet Crowd within a month, you are entered into a random draw to earn prizes! Win-win!