Friday, 31 May 2013

Tying Knots in Yarn with Sticks...

Today I decided to learn to crochet. About five minutes after I started trying to learn I had this awful flashback to when I started learning to knit and learned to cast on and to knit fine, but then got stuck and just couldn't learn to purl. For a year. All I could do was knit. In straight lines. Because I still have a phobia of circular needles I haven't yet overcome. I had this awful feeling I was going to be able to do the chain stitch and then not be able to work out how to actually crochet.

However, I think I'm gradually getting there. It struck me when I was learning to knit (and at times ending up with so much yarn wrapped around my fingers that my fingers had basically become part of the knitting) that knitting was pretty much just tying knots in wool with sticks. Crochet is this, but even more elaborate knots. 

my first attempt at actually crocheting a row
I'm learning (or attempting to) from The Happy Hooker by Debbie Stoller, because her knitting book, Stitch 'n Bitch is responsible for my knitting so I figured I could blame her for my crochet too. That way when my husband moans (which he actually never does. He just looks at me when I buy more craft stuff) I can tell him it's not my fault, it's Debbie Stoller's. Her books always have awesome patterns in them that I just must make immediately.
The real reason I wanted to learn to crochet, despite the fact that I have a craft fair that I still have to make a ton of stuff for, was that I hate feeling limited, and whenever I'm on Ravelry looking for things to make for my family I hate that almost half the patterns on there aren't available to me because I don't have the necessary skills. I figured if I can tie knots in yarn with knitting needles, I can probably do it with a hook, and actually despite a teenage hatred of the textiles room at school, I have more than slightly fallen in love with textile art.
I also want to take up making Rag Rugs. 


Wednesday, 22 May 2013


There's a lot I want to write about today. I know I've yet to really start keeping this blog properly, but I plan to post on a weekly basis from now on; more frequently when the mood takes me and time allows. 

Summer is coming, and nothing typifies this more than The Chelsea Flower Show which has been on this week and which I love watching despite never liking Alan Titchmarsh as a child. For some reason I find flower shows incredibly relaxing, and also it stimulates the plans I have for our imaginary hypothetical garden/allotment. Another brilliant summer post I loved this week is 50 Outdoor Summer Activities for Kids from Six Sisters' Stuff, which is pretty much my favourite craft/cookery blog at the moment. Although I feel like I'm a (fairly) seasoned part of the book blogging community, I'm just starting out in the world of craft blogging, and so far I know I'm doing pretty poorly but I'm hoping I'll get into the swing of things and that my love of blogging and of crafting will come through and override my shocking time management skills!

In news which is actually craft related, I've just been accepted to my first craft fair! My hometown has a big (and pretty well known in its genre) folk festival during the summer, and although this fair isn't actually part of the festival, it is going to be held in the centre of town during the week the festival is on so I'm hopeful that it will be really busy and a great first experience. I'm really quite nervous for a variety of reasons, mostly because I'm freaking about whether or not I can get enough stuff made in time, but also because although I've worked in retail for years, it's been a very long time since I've sold anything from a stall! However, my sister is coming along to help and also making a few bits to bulk out the stall, so at least I'll have moral support! If anyone reading this has any experience of craft fairs or tips they can share, I'd be eternally grateful!

In terms of what I've been making recently, I'm currently working on a safari themed baby mobile. Currently it looks like this:

Excuse the awful photography - that's a major area I seriously need to work on! At the moment I'm creating a little zebra to complete it, along with a hippo in an as yet undetermined colour. 

I'm also working on some of my alphabet blocks for a friend, spelling out the name of her nephew.I love making them because they're so pretty and colourful and just gratifying to make. The picture is of the ones I have listed in my Etsy shop at the moment, which are just an A,B,C set but I'm hoping they'll end up being a good seller and I'll get to make loads of them!