Men’s Denim Scarf
My mother-in-law was telling me how her and the ladies at the WI were learning to crochet granny squares. We popped over and, with my youngest sister-in-law, we practised making granny squares. I wanted to learn the basic techniques of crochet so I practised making dc squares. Once I was happy I used some denim yarn, which was kindly donated to me, to make this scarf. I had some lovely bold red yarn, which my mother-in-law gave me to practise with, and made a ‘designer’ stripe. I would have done it on the other side, but I had completely forgotten how to do it! I think it looks great the way it is and my husband actually uses it!
Pattern: I used a 6mm hook (J/10) and chained 70 stitches in denim yarn and worked 11 rows in dc. The stripe is from the Murray Cowl pattern by Nicky Hale in The Complete Guide to Crochet vol.3.
Super Simple Coffee Cosy
So I mastered dc. This pattern required working in dc and htc. I was worried I would get bogged down by the different crochet stitches, but as I practised them I memorised the number of ‘yarn over’s and ‘pull throw’s of the stitches and it began to make logical sense. This pattern required creating a chain and linking the ends to work in the round. It was difficult to prevent the chain and foundation row from twisting. I still struggle with this today, but as long as I concentrated and accept having to re-do a number of times it’s fine. I had a lot of praise from colleagues at work.
Olivia’s Preemie Hats
Despite loosing my daughter, I was determined to regain my mental and emotional strength. The care I received from the two hospitals involved were second-to-none, the staff from every stage of our heart-wrenching journey were compassionate, caring and understanding. They made this disaster just that bit easier to comprehend. As a thank you and a challenge to regain some emotional strength, I created a number of premature baby hats for donation. This is all I could do to say thank you to the staff and to help those whose babies were born too soon, or who died too soon.
This pattern taught me how to create a magic circle. I tried this before and I just could not get the knack of it. I tried again this time, and it worked! It had opened up a lot more crochet projects to me, especially amigurumi. This pattern used dc and htc in the round, with slight variations to the pattern to create hats from as small as micro-preemie to newborn. They are super quick to make and, on a lazy day, I can create three hats.
Primrose and Proper Super Scarf
I was browsing for crochet patterns and I saw this pop up on the Pinterest wall. I loved it as soon as I saw the pattern! I did have to re-do the project twice, the second time was because I didn’t crochet into the back loop properly. That was a tricky stitch! I made this for my mother’s birthday. I regret not making it longer, it’s hard to visualise a project’s true size from a foundation chain, fortunately she liked the length. The pattern requires you to crochet a border once the main scarf is finished. It’s freedom like this that is making me enjoy crocheting far more than knitting.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
These were uber fun to make and I’m so glad a colleague asked me to make these for her. Also, these were my first amigurumi project! I lost a lot of my love over knitting because I found making toys and teddy’s too fiddly and stressful as there were a ton of seams to sew and ends to sew in and chop off. With amigurumi, or at least for this project, you have no seams and only two ends to sew in! That meant I could spend more time doing what I actually enjoy (i.e. the crocheting) and less sewing. This also meant that they were much quicker to make than if they were knitted.
In regards to the turtles, I used black wool for the eyes whereas the pattern used safety eyes (the original pattern used googly eyes). I opted for black wool as I did not have four pairs of safety eyes in the same size and I find wool is a cheaper option (if you’re cash-strapped, like me!).
Hen and Chicks Amigurumi
Aren’t these just the cutest!? I wanted to commit to more projects over the Easter period, I even had my eye on some bunny bunting, but with a packed out weekend these were all I had time to do. However, these two were fun to make, but not initially. The chicks required a 2.5mm hook and, up to that point, the smallest hook I had used for DK yarn was 3.5mm. Not being used to such a small hook, I often found that I split the yarn when trying to create stitches. That passed eventually once I got used to it. Using a small hook for DK yarn made the chicks come out quite firm and didn’t require as much toy stuffing, which meant they retained their shape better. Fortunately, the picture above doesn’t show how pissed the Mother Hen looks!
Slouchy Market Bag
I was desperate for a project when my University essays started getting on top of me. I wanted to try something different, so I thought a bag would do! This pattern jumped out to me because of the mustard yellow with the grey and white. I had these colours left from my Art of Knitting venture. The grey was probably too light, I should have used a darker shade. The lacy pattern was achieved from a repeated pattern of six rows. I could only finish five of the repeats (instead of seven, in the pattern) as the pattern guzzled up my mustard yellow! To be honest, I prefer this size.
I tested it out when visiting my daughter at the crematorium, with my husband, by packing flowers, wipes, scissors, tissues, cardigan and a picnic for two. It was perfect!